The only organist ever to have won a GRAMMY® Award (for Messiaen’s Livre du Saint-Sacrement), Paul Jacobs transfixes audiences, colleagues, and critics alike with imaginative interpretations and charismatic stage presence. Hailed as “one of the major musicians of our time” by the New Yorker’s Alex Ross, Mr. Jacobs has been an important influence in the revival of symphonic works featuring the organ, drawing from his deep knowledge of western music to enlighten listeners, and is a true innovator in the advocacy of organ repertoire, performing and encouraging the composition of new works that feature the organ.
A strong advocate of new music, Paul Jacobs has premiered works by Christopher Rouse, Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, Wayne Oquin, Stephen Paulus, and Christopher Theofanidis, among others. He is a vocal proponent of the redeeming nature of traditional and contemporary classical music in his roles as Chair of the Organ Department at The Juilliard School and Director of the Organ Institute at the Oregon Bach Festival.
With the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Baylor alumnus Giancarlo Guerrero, he performed and recorded Michael Daugherty’s Once Upon a Castle, included on the Naxos disc of works by Daugherty, Tales of Hemingway, which received the 2016 GRAMMY for Best Classical Compendium.
Paul Jacobs is a frequent concerto and recital soloist, featuring the concert organs of the San Francisco Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Lexington Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, the Seattle Symphony and the Toledo Symphony.
Mr. Jacobs studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, double-majoring with John Weaver for organ and Lionel Party for harpsichord, and at Yale University with Thomas Murray. He joined the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2003, and was named chairman of the organ department in 2004, one of the youngest faculty appointees in the school’s history. He received Juilliard’s prestigious William Schuman Scholar’s Chair in 2007 and an honorary Doctor of Music from Washington and Jefferson College in 2017.