Oregon Symphony


The Orchestra

Musician Moment

Robert Taylor

Assistant Principal Trombone

What convinced you that you wanted a career in music?

There never was an “aha” moment for me. Very early in my high school years it was apparent that music was my real passion and my gift.

What are you listening to right now?

I’ve been obsessed with the music of Kenny Wheeler, a Canadian-born, British jazz trumpeter/composer. His music is a strange blend of his own unique harmonic style, which despite the way it sounds is quite rigid, and a much more free style of jazz. It’s also very beautiful as heard on his album Angel Song. And I’ve just discovered the music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, at times schmaltzy but sometimes precursing Gershwin by more than 50 years.

How did you choose your instrument?

They didn’t need anymore trumpets or drums, or maybe my parents were afraid to hear such noise in the house! The trombone has such a lovely tone – if it’s played well.

What is on your nightstand?

Right now I’m reading The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross, The Great Pianists by Harold Schonberg, and I’ve just added Notes of a Pianist, Gottschalk’s notes to himself, observations and the like to keep himself entertained while he toured.

What guest artist would you most like to perform with?

Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, if he were still with us, and Bjork. These people don’t perform, they channel.

Besides your instrument, what is your most treasured possession?

My relationships with my friends, my health and my iPhone!

Posted March 2008
Robert Taylor

Robert joined the Oregon Symphony in 1996 after a five-year stint with the San Antonio Symphony. Originally from Illinois, Robert studied at Northwestern University with Frank Crisafulli as well as many others from the Chicago Symphony. Shortly after moving to Portland, Robert joined forces with the band Pink Martini and has since recorded three albums and toured the world.

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