Joan Taylor, born in Warwick, studied piano at the Birmingham School of Music, read Music at the University of Oxford and subsequently gained a Diploma in Education at the University of Cambridge. She has had a long career as soloist, accompanist, repetiteur, lecturer and teacher. Her own teachers have included Lilian Niblette (a pupil of pianist Fanny Davies – herself a pupil of Clara Schumann) and Gerald Moore, who partnered her with mezzo-soprano Ann Murray. She accompanied Ann in many broadcasts and recitals, including Ann’s first Wigmore Hall recital and her debut BBC Radio 3 broadcast.
Joan was a Music lecturer at Morley College, London, for more than twenty-five years, particularly enjoying teaching sight-singing and training non-singers to sing well. The ‘Can’t Sing Choir’ featured in a documentary on BBC Radio 4, was broadcast on BBC1, CNN, Canadian Television and the BBC World Service, and major articles appeared in the Berliner Zeitung and Sunday Telegraph, describing the success of Joan’s teaching and vocal and therapeutic benefits to her students. In recognition of her work with the choir she was awarded Freedom of the London Borough of Southwark in 1999.
In 2015 Joan was repetiteur for rehearsals at the Royal Opera House leading up to the world première of Zaid Jabri’s Cities of Salt, part of the Shubbak Festival in London.
She has a special interest in Czech music, and in 2017 recorded a CD of some of the music of Karel Janovicky – song cycles and his fifth piano sonata – with Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano) and John Turner (recorder). In April 2019 Joan premièred the song cycle of poems from A Shropshire Lad, also by Janovicky, for the Dvořak Society, with BBC Singer Katherine Nicholson (mezzo-soprano). Karel’s ninetieth birthday was featured on BBC Radio 3 in 2020 and Joan’s recording of the slow movement of Karel’s piano sonata was broadcast on the station’s breakfast programme.
Joan recently relocated from her South East London home and now divides her time between the Dorset coast and London. She is involved in coaching young singers, accompanying them in competitions and auditions. Joan is repetiteur for the Blackheath Choir, London, under the musical direction of Patricia Williams, and since 1991 has enjoyed her role as accompanist and Musicianship tutor for the LSG International Summer School at Bryanston.