Nine-year-old Emma Taggart, a classically trained pianist and winner of several internationally acclaimed piano competitions, will present her third recital at the Hubbard United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 1 with the public invited to attend the one-hour program.
"I really love to play at Hubbard because of how excited everyone is and how appreciative they are. It makes me feel like I have a lot of friends," Emma said recently, while visiting her grandparents, Margi and Ron Taggart of Park Rapids. Emma's brother, Jacob, 5, will open the program, playing two piano selections.
"Emma and Jacob are fortunate to have such a supportive and caring community at Hubbard. We feel very blessed to be a part of this," said the children's parents, Teresa and Jared.
In July, Emma will travel to Granada, Spain, to compete in the Maria Herrero International Competition as well as participate in a piano festival. She has also been invited to give a solo performance at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the National Charter Schools Conference in June.
In looking ahead to next year, Emma said, "I am excited that I will make my orchestral debut in the spring of 2013, performing Mozart's Concerto No. 23 in A Major."
Emma started lessons at age 4 with Mary Carloni; after one year she was referred to Dr. Reid Smith, a graduate of the Juilliard School. She gave her first solo recital at age 6.
In the summer of 2011 Emma attended the Norma International Music Festival in Italy where she participated in classes with master pianists and gave a solo recital as well as a lecture demonstration on the 24 Lyric Preludes by William L. Gillock. Emma received the top prize, which was an all-expense paid scholarship to participate in a future festival in Italy.
Emma released her first CD, "Emma: Age 6," in 2009. Her second CD, "Emma Taggart: Year Eight," features over 40 minutes of classical music from her award winning solo repertoire. Emma is currently recording her third CD that will be released in July 2013.
Emma participated in her first music festival, the Gabala International Piano Festival in Azerbaijan, in 2009. The youngest pianist invited to the festival, she studied under the world renowned Oxana Yablonskaya.
At the conclusion of the festival, Emma was awarded an opportunity to play at Steinway Hall in New York City. Later that year she was a semi-finalist in the 12 and under division of the Minnesota State Fair talent show; in 2011 she was awarded second place in the pre-teen division.
In 2010, Emma was invited to the Vallaro International Piano Festival in Italy where she studied with some of the top master pianists in the world, including Vicenzo Balzani and Shuku Iwasaki, and was awarded the festival's Performance Award.
For more information about Emma, visit www. emmataggart.com.