LDS Church member Rowan Taylor, officially the most prolific living composer of classical music, died yesterday.
Taylor gained the distinction of being the most prolific living composer in 1995 after completing a stunning 265 symphonies, 46 concertos, 2,502 songs, 250 chamber works and hundreds of other compositions, including opera, choral works, ballets and solo works. He was on the faculty at Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California for 39 years and lived in Whittier, California.
Last year Taylor was one of the participants in the groundbreaking anthology Mormoniana and has been known throughout his career for his support of Mormon classical music. Examples include an oratorio Coriantumr, a sacred cantata, O God, Where Art Thou?, and a full-length pageant, San Bernardino.
He served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War as a Chaplain’s assistant to Rabbi Chaim Potok, now a world-famous author. Potok’s novel Book of Lights, an autobiographical account of his experiences in Korea, includes Taylor as the character Roger Tat. Potok credits Taylor with saving his life at least twice.
Taylor is survived by his wife, Priscilla, eight of his nine children, twenty-four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.