Paul Jacobs


Paul Jacobs, who was born in 1977 in Washington, Pennsylvania, started piano studies early on and began playing organ at 13; when he was only 15 he was appointed organist for a parish in his hometown that served 3,500 families. Majoring in organ and harpsichord, he graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and from Yale University, where he was trained by Thomas Murray. He inaugurated his career with numerous awards, including his victory at the Albert Schweitzer National Organ Competition in 1998. During the Bach Year 2000, Paul Jacobs earned widespread recognition by giving an 18-hour non-stop recital in Pittsburgh, which he gave in memory of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. A central focus of his repertory also includes the organ works of Olivier Messiaen, which he has performed in their entirety in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and New York. In the 2009-10 season, Paul Jacobs performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s six trio sonatas for organ in New York; he additionally gave a recital at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia in which he introduced an unpublished organ piece from the estate of Samuel Barber and made a recording of Messiaen’s Livre du Saint Sacrement. Representing the United States, he took part in the first International Braudo Organ Competition in St. Petersburg, where he appeared for the first time before a Russian audience. Since 2003 Paul Jacobs has taught at the Juilliard School in New York, which appointed him head of its organ faculty in 2004. In 2007 New York Magazine named him Organist of the Year.

July 2010