Daniel Taylor is often described as Canada's leading countertenor. And with scores of rave reviews from concerts across the globe and more than 60 recordings to his credit, it would be hard to challenge the claim.
His many supporters, not to mention a host of notable critics, have lavished high praise on Taylor for the beauty of his unique, female-timbred voice. His repertory has tended to favor Renaissance-era and Baroque music, with the cantatas of J.S. Bach heavily figuring in his discography. He also regularly appears on the world's most prestigious operatic stages, again favoring early music repertory in his choice of roles, with the works of Handel taking precedence. Despite his preference for early music, Taylor has sung a fair amount of modern works by a range of diverse composers: Bernstein, Sakamoto, Christos Hatzis, and Arvo Pärt. Taylor is the founder of the Theatre of Early Music, a Montreal-based period-instrument ensemble, for which he also serves as artistic director. In concert Taylor often performs with renowned Canadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc. He has recorded for a spate of major labels, including BIS, Dorian, Atma Classique, Harmonia Mundi, EMI, and Virgin Classics.
Daniel Taylor was born in Canada in 1969. At six he began singing in the (Anglican) St. Matthew's Church choir, and four years later became a treble for the National Arts Centre Opera. At 16 he began vocal lessons with renowned countertenor Allan Fast. Taylor studied music first at McGill University, then, for his master's, at the University of Montreal. He had later studies in Europe in Baroque interpretation and still takes vocal lessons from British countertenor Michael Chance.
Taylor quickly established his reputation in Canada, both in opera and the concert hall. He debuted in 1997 at Glyndebourne to rave reviews in Handel's Theodora. His April 1999 Met debut as Nireno in Handel's Giulio Cesare was equally impressive.
In the new century Taylor founded the Theatre of Early Music ensemble. The group has attracted such artists as Emma Kirkby, Suzie Leblanc, and Stephen Varcoe and has made a dozen or so recordings. In 2004 Taylor was named the Opus Prizes Artist of the year. Among Taylor's recordings is the 2007 Virgin Classics DVD Bach in Notre Dame.