Skip Navigation

The Taylor Academy Sets the Stage for Success with Exceptional Training

The Taylor Academy Sets the Stage for Success with Exceptional Training

Published on February 28, 2024

Applications for gifted musicians (8 to 18 years) are now being accepted for Fall 2024

Taylor Academy Students
From the school’s first offering of special courses for gifted children in the 1950s and continuing through to its place as the premiere training program for exceptional young classical musicians today, The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists at The Royal Conservatory has provided gifted young artists unique access to performance opportunities, mentorship and superior musical training from the highest-calibre faculty and artists in classical music.
“It is an incredible responsibility that parents have, and that we all have in nurturing the talent in our youth and helping them maximize their potential. I meet many parents who trust us in the sharing of their child’s development – and we feel that responsibility. From the outstanding facilities to the nurturing faculty … everyone is looking out for each other here. As importantly, The Taylor Academy is a group of like-minded, supportive young people that develop lifelong friendships and become absolutely incredible musicians – together.”
Barry Shiffman, Director, The Taylor Academy
It is this opportunity to explore and develop their musical talents in a nurturing environment that has contributed to many Taylor Academy graduates moving on to achieve great things in their chosen career whether it be in music or another path. 100% of Taylor Academy students receive offers from post-secondary institutions or conservatories such as Harvard University, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Yale University, The Colburn School, McGill University, New England Conservatory and The Glenn Gould School.

Here are just a few Taylor Academy alumni currently “making waves”:

  • JJ Jun Li Bui, piano – Laureate of the prestigious The Chopin Competition (the youngest laureate of that competition) and the Van Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition. 
  • Matthew Christakos, cello – Appointed as Associate Cellist in the New York Philharmonic, winner of the Canada Council Michael Measures Prize. 
  • Stewart Goodyear, piano – Internationally acclaimed performer (performed all 32 Beethoven sonatas in a single day), JUNO nominee, composer, recording artist, and Artist-in-Residence at the RCM
  • Eric Guo, piano – First prize winner of the 2nd International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments, Laureate of the Fifth Canadian Chopin Piano Competition. 
  • Yi-Jia Susanne Hou, violin – International soloist, recording artist and 2-time winner of the Canada Council for the Arts Instrument Bank Competition. 
  • Dale Jeong, cello – Associate Principal Cello at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, named to CBC’s 2022 “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30”. 
  • Earl Lee, conductor – 2022 recipient of The Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. 
  • Jan Lisiecki, piano – Award-winning internationally acclaimed Deutsche Grammophon recording artist since the age of 15, one of the world’s most in-demand performers, UNICEF Ambassador to Canada. 
  • Coco Ma, piano – Author of Young Adult Fantasy genre, Yale University ’25, accomplished pianist and top prize winner at the Canadian Music Competition and Canadian Chopin Competition, made her TSO debut at the age of 14 
  • Ema Nikolovska, mezzo-soprano – current Wigmore Hall Artist in Residence, first prize winner at the International Vocal Competition ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Makes her Koerner Hall vocal debut on March 24, 2024 with pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin. 
  • Gascia Ouzounian, violin/piano - Associate Professor of Music at the University of Oxford, Fellow and Tutor in Music at Lady Margaret Hall, Author, Sonic Theorist, Co-founder of Recomposing the City research group, International Performer, ARCT Violin Performers
  • Karen Ouzounian, cello – International touring chamber musician, soloist, collaborator and composer, Winner of the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award, Founding member of the Grammy nominated Aizuri Quartet, Performs frequently with the Silkroad Ensemble and The Knights
  • Dr. Maral Ouzounian MD PhD FRCSC, piano - Head, Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network, Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto, McGill University, ARCT Piano Performers
  • Blake Pouliot, violin – Soloist-in-Residence at the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, Grand Prize at the Orchestra Symphonique de Montréal Competition, winner of the Virginia Parker Prize
  • Barry Shiffman, viola/violin – Internationally acclaimed violinist and violist, Associate Dean & Director of Chamber Music at The Glenn Gould School, Director at The Taylor Academy, co-founder of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Artistic Director of Classical Music & Rockport Chamber Music Festival 
  • Lynn Sue-A-Quan, viola – Violist with the Indianapolis Symphony, winner of the Canadian Music Competition, concerto competition winner for the Aspen Music Festival 
  • Dr. Terrence Tam, violin – Internationally acclaimed soloist, Concertmaster with the Victoria Symphony, ER Physician at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Conservatory 
  • Tony Yike Yang, piano – Artist-in-Residence at the Ingesund Piano Center, Harvard graduate (B.A. Economics), youngest-ever laureate of the International Chopin Piano Competition 
  • Emad Zolfaghari, viola – Co-Principal viola of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Francois Schubert Grand Prize winner at the OMNI Music Competition 
The Taylor Academy runs from September through May and is designed around an immersive core curriculum that includes private lessons, chamber ensembles, academic courses, and performances. The Junior Academy (ages 8-13) accepts piano and strings artists, while the Senior Academy (ages 14-18) accepts strings, piano, classical guitar, woodwinds, and voice. 

Thanks to the support of generous donors, all students accepted into The Taylor Academy receive a scholarship which subsidizes their tuition and financial aid is also available. 

The deadline for applications for Fall 2024 is April 1, 2024. 


And don’t miss the opportunity to see these talented young musicians perform in The Royal Conservatory’s Mazzoleni Concert Hall on March 9 and March 24 and in acclaimed Koerner Hall on May 1.  All performances are free.

Ticket Information