Three classical pianists – Emma, 17, Jacob, 12, and Cecilia, 6 – will appear in concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18 at the Hubbard United Methodist Church.
The Taggart summer concerts at HUMC, open to the public at no charge, began a decade ago, when Emma was six. Several years later, she was joined by Jacob, and last summer, by Cecilia. The children are the grandchildren of Ron and Margi Taggart of Park Rapids.
Emma and Jacob were recently awarded first place in the U.S. International Duo Competition.
Together, they have performed not only in the United States, but also in Europe.
They have appeared on NPR’s “From the Top” and MPR’s “Minnesota Varsity;” performed on stage at Paisley Park and Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall with Sheila E., Grammy-nominated singer and Prince’s former drummer, and opened for the iconic rock band, The Goo Goo Dolls. This past March, they performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, playing The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens.
Emma is pioneering an avant-garde style of performing via a combination of music and dialogue. She is an avid arranger and is proud to have two of her works performed on national radio. Most recently, she was named the 2018-19 featured artist of the Nicholson Brothers’ Classical Music Series at the Hanifl Center for the Performing Arts.
She is a regular attendee at music festivals in Italy, Spain, Azerbaijan and Russia. She has been awarded the Norma, Italy International Music Festival Award; the Varallo, Italy International Piano Festival Performance Award, and first place in the Maria Herrero International Piano Competition in Granada, Spain.
Emma has received acclaim as the top prizewinner in the LaCrosse Symphony Concerto Competition, and the Young People’s Symphony Concert Association’s Concerto Competition, which included an engagement to play Grieg’s Piano Concerto in a series of concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra.
She has been a featured soloist with the Dakota Valley Symphony, the Minnetonka Orchestra, the Golden Valley Orchestra and the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra.
Emma is a three-time recipient of the Schubert Club Special Awards Grant and has also received, among others, the Wildwood Series Young Artist Award and the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, which was accompanied by a $10,000 scholarship.
Emma has taken master classes with pianists, such as Anderson and Rose, Nelita True, Oxana Yablonskaya and Julian Martin.
Jacob has won many competitions and awards, and performed in hundreds of concerts.
Recent honors include first place in the Great Composers Competition and Thursday Musical Competition. He was a co-winner of the Golden Valley Orchestra concerto competition. He was also first place in the West Central division and a finalist in the national division of the Music Teachers National Association piano duet competition.
In 2017, he attended the Grand Piano in Palace International Piano Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he was awarded the Grand Prix and performed Mozart’s Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, K. 271, with the Chamber Orchestra of St. Petersburg.
When Jacob was seven, he won the pre-teen division of the Minnesota State Fair Talent Competition, wowing a crowd of 5,000. Also at age seven, Jacob attended his first festival, the Accademia Tadini International Music Festival, in Lovere, Italy, where he played a solo recital, and made his orchestral debut, playing the Bach Concerto No. 5 with the Milan Chamber Orchestra
Jacob has performed in masterclasses with Anderson and Roe and Vincenzo Balzani.
Cecilia began lessons at age three with her sister, Emma. She enjoys playing solo as well as duo and trio pieces with her siblings.
All three study with Juilliard graduate, Dr. Reid Smith. They attend St. Agnes School, where Emma is a senior and Jacob is in ninth grade.