Helen Taylor papers
Scope and Contents
- Johannesen, Grant (Person)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Materials labelled confidential are restricted from publication.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from the Helen Taylor papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Biographical / Historical
Helen Taylor was born in 1915 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She studied piano at the McCune School of Music, after which she completed a Master's degree at Columbia University. She was on the faculty at Columbia Teachers College in the Fall of 1941 to the Spring of 1942. She attended Julliard from 1942-1945, which is where she composed her first symphony. It was also here that she met her future husband, Grant Johannesen, who was a worldclass concert pianist. Taylor and Johannesen were married and returned to Utah in 1946. The couple had one son, David. She later started working as a teacher for the McCune School and continued composing. She was recognized for her violin sonata in 1948 with a National Association of Composers and Conductors Award. She died on October 5, 1950 in a car accident.
Biographical / Historical
Grant Johannesen was born on July 30, 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He started learning the piano when he was five after being discovered to be imitating a piano teacher and playing by ear. Between the years 1941 and 1946, he studied with Robert Casadesus at Princeton University and with Egon Petri at Cornell University. He also took courses in composition with Roger Sessions and Nadia Boulanger.
He made his concert debut in New York in 1944. In 1949, he won first prize at the Ostend Concours Internationale, which started his international career. He went on tour both as a soloist as part of an orchestra and as an indvidual performer. He toured Europe with Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1956 and 1957, and then toured Europe with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra in 1968. He was a frequent soloist with both the Cleveland Orchestra and Utah Symphony Orchestra. Grant Johannesen was particularly well know for his performances of American and French music, and recorded the complete piano works of Gabriel Fauré. He also composed some piano works. From 1960 to 1966 Grant Johannesen taught at the Aspen (Colorado) Music School, and in 1973 he became music consultant and adviser of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He later served as music director at the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1974 to 1977, and finally as its president from 1977 to 1985. He taught at the Mannes College of Music in New York and at the Salzburg Mozaneum.
Grant Johannesen was married to the composer Helen Taylor (whose works for piano were among his recordings) from 1943 until her death in an automobile accident in 1950. He was married to his second wife, the cellist Zara Nelsova (with whom he sometimes performed), from 1963 until their divorce in 1973. From his first marriage, he had a son, David Johannesen. He died on March 27, 2005.
4 oversize boxes (2 linear ft.)
2 boxes (1 linear ft.)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Register of the Helen Taylor papers
- Elizabeth West
- 2011 May 13
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English in Latin script.