M.M.: Northwestern University
Maria del Pico Tayler, a native of Havana, Cuba, is a Professor of Piano at Temple University in Philadelphia; Co-founder and Co-director of the Dorothy Taubman Piano Seminars in New York City and at Temple University; Founder and Artistic Director of the Latin Fiesta ensemble and founding director/producer of the “Hispanos…Many Roots…Many Faces…” Festivals in Philadelphia.
Latin Fiesta is listed on the roster of the Preserving Diverse Cultures program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Mann Center Educational Outreach program, the former Artists Roster of Young Audiences of Eastern Pennsylvania and presently with Musicopia In this educational capacity the ensemble performs in-school concerts and conducts residencies for hundreds of children every year. Latin Fiesta has commissioned several works from Latino composers to be performed with symphony orchestras. Appearances as soloists with orchestras include: The Philadelphia Classical Symphony and the Symphonies of Delaware; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Jackson, TN; Pottstown, Pa, and Tulsa, OK. They have also performed pre-concert encounters in collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2005 Latin Fiesta released its first CD “Amor a la Vida” produced by world-renowned musician Oscar Hernandez Artistic Director of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
In 1984 Taylor was the winner of the Lindback Award for excellence in teaching at Temple University and in 1994 she was selected "Teacher of the Year" in the state of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association (PMTA).She is the recipient of numerous merit awards at Temple University. Selected by the Iberoamerican Foundation as “One of Six Outstanding Latino Women in Philadelphia” In 2013 she was selected as one of the Most Influential Latinos in the Delaware Valley and in 2014 she was names Professional of the Year by the International Who is Who. She is also the recipient of several grants from the Philadelphia Music Project, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, PennPAT and the PA Council on the Arts.
Her expertise in Spanish and Latin American Piano Music has won her innumerable invitations to perform and present lecture-recitals both nationally and internationally. She has premiered or collaborated with several Hispanic composers whose works she has performed in Philadelphia, generally with the composers in attendance. They include the Concerto Cubano by Paul Csonka with the Temple University Symphony Orchestra; the Piano Quartet and the Concertino for Piano, Strings and Cymbals by Carlos Surinach with the Pennsylvania Pro Musica Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Franklin Zimmerman and Rimas for voice and piano by Roberto Sierra Sierra’s work was premiered at Rock Hall on the occasion of his honorary induction into the Eta Ea chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda , the National Honor Music society; two works by Philadelphia’s own Kile Smith: Alabanza and A Song of Sonia Sanchez.
As the Founder and Director of the Hispanic Festival in Philadelphia called “Hispanos…Many Roots…Many Faces…” Taylor commissioned several work to be premiered by the ensemble. The first one was ALMA LATINA, a suite in 6 movements inspired by the Baroque suite, written by two Grammy winning composers: Carlos Franzetti, Argentina/New York wrote the first three movements: Tango, Milonga and Fiesta Nocturna; Oscar Hernandez, Puerto Rico/New York wrote Bolero, Danzon and Salsa; the 2nd commissioned work was written in two movements; Raices by Tania Leon, former composer in Residence for the New York Philharmonic and Salon Cubano by Arturo O’Farrill, former Director of the Afro-Cuban ensemble at Lincoln Center. The third work was “Una Casa y Tres Cuartos” by Angel Fernandez, Music Director for Marc Anthony.T he works have been performed at The Arts Bank, The Philadelphia Convention Center and The Painted Bride Theater.