J. Taylor Arnold (b.1990) has been a lifelong fan of the creative arts. Growing up in Utah, he found himself drawn to music and composition from an early age. On a fifth-grade field trip to the Utah Symphony, he heard his first bassoon concerto and fell in love with the instrument. When the opportunity arose in Junior High, he began playing the bassoon. It was there that the desire to create new music began. Christopher Earl, his band teacher, would eventually have the Junior High ensemble perform some of Arnold’s compositions.
Arnold studied Bassoon Performance at Weber State University (WSU) in Ogden, UT, studying under Thomas Priest. He also attained private composition lessons with Thomas Root, Shannon Roberts, and Carey Campbell during his time at WSU, earning him the Mack Wilberg Scholarship for Music Composition during his final two years, as well as the Richard and Sophia Reed Memorial Scholarship. Arnold completed his degree as WSU’sWoodwind Section Leader and principal bassoonist for the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Opera, and Wind Quintet. Arnold’s composition, Far From Home, for Wind Ensemble received its world premiere with the Weber State University Wind Ensemble. Arnold performed regularly in Ogden as the contrabassoonist for Chamber Orchestra Ogden and The New American Philharmonic. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance
Arnold recently graduated with a Master of Music in Composition and Music Theory at New York University (NYU) in Manhattan, NY. At NYU he studied composition with Michael Gordon and Robert Honstein under the direction of Julia Wolfe. In addition, he studied bassoon with Gina Cuffari. He recently won the 2019 Steinhardt Composition Competition and was awarded the residency with the NYU O1 Orchestra.
As a performer, Arnold has recently collaborated with local NYC composers to premiere two new works for bassoon and electronics. As a composer, as part of his residency with the NYU O1 Orchestra, he recently premiered his new orchestral work, Doubt. In collaboration with the choreographer Polly Jacobs, he premiered his piece Blurry Music at New York City's Jack Crystal Theater. With his composer collective, Nevermind the Noise, he has premiered pieces with RighteousGIRLS and Quince Ensemble. His other works have been premiered by the MIVOS Quartet, Bearthoven, NEXT Ensemble, NYU Percussion Ensemble, New Millennium Wind Ensemble, High West Ensemble, and other local musicians throughout New York City and Utah. His music has been premiered at the Bari Piano Festival in Italy, the Pulsing and Shaking Music Festival in NYC, and the NEXT Ensemble's New Year New Music Concert in Utah.
"I heard the WSU Wind Ensemble play one of his pieces before he graduated. The kid can write! (Plus, he's a bassoonist, which gives him extra cool points.)"
- Robert Fudge
(random FB post, he takes what he gets)