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Paul Jacobs


About this Artist

Heralded as “one of the finest organists and teachers of our day,” by Zachary Woolfe of The New York Times, “one of  the major musicians of our time” by Alex Ross of The New Yorker, the internationally celebrated organist Paul Jacobs combines a probing intellect and extraordinary technical mastery with an unusually large repertoire, both old and new. He has performed to great critical acclaim on five continents and in each of the fifty United States. The only organist ever to have won a Grammy Award—in 2011 for Messiaen’s towering “Livre du Saint-Sacrément,”—Mr. Jacobs is an  eloquent champion of his instrument both in the United States and abroad.

During the 2023-24 season, Paul Jacobs returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic twice: for the 20th Anniversary celebration of Walt Disney Hall, a gala concert with Gustavo Dudamel that will be broadcast on PBS’s Great Performances; and in a performance of Lou Harrison’s Organ Concerto with Esa Pekka Salonen. A special season highlight is the premiere of a new organ concerto written for him by Lowell Liebermann, with performances at the Jacksonville Symphony and the Oregon Bach Festival. Other orchestral appearances include a return to the Chicago Symphony for the Barber Toccata Festiva, the Stephen Paulus Grand Concerto for Organ with the Toledo Symphony, Michael Daugherty’s Once Upon a Castle with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and John Harbison’s What Do We Make of Bach? with the New England Philharmonic. Recital highlights include Messiaen’s Livre du Saint-Sacrement at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, with additional recitals presented by the Nashville Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, and Tryon Concert Association, among others.

A fierce advocate of new music, Mr. Jacobs has premiered works by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, Bernd Richard Deutsch, John Harbison, Wayne Oquin, Stephen Paulus, Christopher Theofanidis, and Christopher  Rouse, among others.

No other organist is repeatedly invited as soloist to perform with prestigious orchestras, thus making him a pioneer in the movement for the revival of symphonic music featuring the organ. Mr. Jacobs regularly appears with the Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Nashville Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony, among others.

Mr. Jacobs studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and at Yale University. 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.