South African-born pianist, composer and producer Kathleen Tagg, praised for her combining of "outstanding technique with deep musicality", has been based in New York since 2001. She has performed on four continents in leading venues such as Carnegie Hall, had her original music performed in venues such as New York’s Lincoln Center, appeared on a host of classical, world music and multi-genre recordings on NAXOS, Table Pounding Records, Ossia Records and Gallo Africa, and produced numerous CDs and inter-disciplinary programs from Cape Town to Los Angeles.
A 2014 South African Music Awards nominee for best classical or instrumental album, she has performed in recital with some of the world’s leading musicians, and the remarkable breadth of her collaborations defines her multi-faceted career.
Kathleen has performed often in venues such as Lincoln Center, Symphony Space and multiple Carnegie Hall recitals, including her 2004 acclaimed solo recital debut as winner of the Artist International auditions, when she was described by critics as “a superbly turned out artist, a performer broaching scant detour between conception and delivery, and a musician of such grand endowment” (NY Concert Review). Since then she has appeared frequently at cultural organizations across the USA, and has performed live on WQXR New York and WGBH Boston. In 2014 she released a recording of the songs of Jake Heggie with American soprano Regina Zona on the NAXOS label.
Kathleen completed her studies at the University of Cape Town, Mannes College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music in New York, which awarded her the Helen Cohn Award as the outstanding Doctoral graduate, and where she taught for four years. She was on the faculty of SongFest at Colburn in Los Angeles from 2013-2016. With her great interest in new music, Kathleen has premiered countless works, many written for her.
Music from the SAMA-nominated album Soul of Fire with singer Zanne Stapelberg, featuring her work as pianist, arranger, producer and music director was used in Deon Meyer’s film, Die Laaste Tango, and Kathleen’s arrangement and performance were featured on the soundtrack, released on Gallo Africa in 2013. Her compositions and arrangements have been performed by David Krakauer, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and by string quartet at the Jewish Kulturfest Vienna. Since 2015, she has toured with leading South African jazz pianist Andre Petersen, and their 2017 album Where Worlds Collide has prompted glowing responses from the press for its “open-minded mix of traditions, and the bravura technique they also share. The results are reflective and exuberant, by turns, and enormously enjoyable throughout.” (London Jazz Times)
Recent performances include her and Sophie Jaff’s Orchestrated Songs at Lincoln Center in New York, performances and workshops in India and USA with the Sabina Rakcheyeva Ensemble, and the release of the group's debut album, and Allora and Calzadilla’s critically acclaimed Stop, Prepare, Repair at New York’s Gladstone Gallery. She recorded the music of Pulitzer prizewinner Tom Kitt for the Broadway Lullabies Project, and performed on Broadway at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre at the launch in 2012. Her musical Erika’s Wall, created with Sophie Jaff, received its premiere run in Chicago in 2010 by The Music Theater Company, and she was named a fellow of the Dramatist Guild of America in 2014/15. She is a 2017 Con Edison Exploring the Metropolis Composer in Residence in New York. www.kathleentagg.com