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Paul Jacobs
Born 1977
Genres Classical music
Occupation(s) Organist
Instruments Organ
Labels Naxos and JAV Recordings
Website pauljacobsorgan.com

Paul Jacobs (b. 1977) is an American organist.

Paul Jacobs began piano lessons at age five and organ lessons at age 12 in his hometown of Washington, Pennsylvania. At age 15 he was appointed head organist of Immaculate Conception Church, a parish of over 3,500 families.[1] Jacobs then attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, double-majoring in organ (with John Weaver) and harpsichord (with Lionel Party),[2] while serving as organist at the Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge National Historical Park. During his final semester as an undergraduate student, he performed the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach several times, including once in an 18-hour non-stop marathon concert in Pittsburgh on the 250th anniversary of the composer's death (July 28, 2000).[3] Jacobs completed a master's degree from the Yale School of Music, studying organ with Thomas Murray.[4] Jacobs has performed the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in eight American cities since 2002, each time in a nine-hour marathon concert.[5]

In 2003 Jacobs was invited to join the faculty of the Juilliard School and the following year, was named chairman of its organ department, making him one of the youngest faculty appointments in the school's history.[1] Winning accolades and awareness for the pipe organ from both critics and audiences alike, Jacobs has performed on five continents, and by the age of 32 performed in each of the 50 United States. His repertoire includes music from the 16th century through contemporary times, including new works written for him. He has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Pacific Symphony.

Jacobs is known for playing demanding programs exclusively from memory. He has memorized the complete works of Olivier Messiaen, as well as the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, and César Franck.[1]

In addition to numerous awards and honors, Jacobs was the first organist to be given the Harvard Musical Association's Arthur W. Foote Award in 2004. He received the Yale School of Music's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005, and in 2007 he was awarded the William Schuman Scholars Chair at the Juilliard School.

He won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra) at the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011 for his recording of Messiaen: Livre Du Saint-Sacrement.[6]

An advocate for new music, Jacobs has premiered works by Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, Christopher Theofanidis, Samuel Adler, and Wayne Oquin.[1][7][8]


  • Paul Jacobs plays Bach an unedited release JAV 145
  • Messiaen: Livre Du Sacrement
  • Ives: A Concord Symphony & Copland: Organ Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
  • "American Mavericks: Lou Harrison Organ Concerto", San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor[9]
  • Michael Daugherty: "The Gospel According to Sister Aimee," Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Carl St. Clair, conductor


  1. ^ a b c d Scherer, Barrymore Laurence (21 March 2012). "Great Music Needs No Apology". The Wall Street Journal. p. D7. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Whitney, Craig (18 April 2004). "The Organ as an Extreme Sport". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Davidson, Justin (14 October 2007). "Vital Organist". New York Magazine. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Robinson, Joyce Johnson (February 2006). "Challenging the culture: A conversation with Paul Jacobs". The Diapson 97 (2). Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Ferko, Frank (April 2002). "An Extraordinary Musical Odyssey: Paul Jacobs’ Messiaen Marathon". The Diapason 93 (4). Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Druckenbrod, Andrew (15 February 2011). "Washington, Pa., native Paul Jacobs wins Grammy for pipe organ recording". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Lawrence, Michael (30 July 2008). "Paul Jacobs to Perform Unpublished Work of Samuel Barber in Philadelphia". New Liturgical Movement. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Mangan, Timothy (24 February 2012). "Pacific Symphony plays Daugherty, Tchaikovsky". Orange County Register. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "San Francisco Symphony Website". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Jacobs_(organist) — Please support Wikipedia.
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11178 videos foundNext > 

Paul Jacobs: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

The Grammy-winning organist showcases his miraculous hands (and feet) in an all-Bach performance. Set List: J.S. Bach: "Gigue" Fugue J.S. Bach: Arioso Bach/Reger: Invention in F Major...

Bach "Sinfonia" from "Cantata No. 29" Paul Jacobs, organist

Comments disabled because this is not a political thread. It is a performance thread. If you like the performance, give it a check. If you don't, then move along to something else. Paul Jacobs,...

Paul Jacobs' Perspectives on the Hazel Wright Organ

Grammy-winning organist Paul Jacobs speaks about the necessity of restoring the Hazel Wright Organ in the Future Christ Cathedral, one of the largest and most recognizable organs in the world....

Paul Jacobs-Pomp and Circumstance

Paul Jacobs plays this as his final piece for a concert at Westminster Presbyterian church in Upper Saint Claire on their Austin pipe organ.

St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh

Fantasy & Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542: Fantasy Paul Jacobs Plays Bach On 3 Von Beckerath Pipe Organs JAV Recordings.

Organist Paul Jacobs on Bach and the Pipe Organ

As part of WQXR's Bach 360 festival — http://www.wqxr.org/Bach360 — we visited with Paul Jacobs, chair of the organ department at The Juilliard School. We met up with Jacobs at Saint Peter's...

Rodgers 2013 North American Classical Organ Competition Highlights

After hearing dazzling performances that romped through several centuries of organ repertoire, a panel of judges awarded first place in Level 1 to Justin DuRant of Columbia, SC, and first place...

Paul Jacobs talks about Bach's "Clavierübung III" for the White Light Festival, Lincoln Center

www.whitelightfestival.org www.lincolncenter.org Organist Paul Jacobs talks about his performance of J.S. Bach's "Clavierübung III" as part of Lincoln Center's White Light Festival.

Paul Jacobs at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

Paul Jacobs, chair of the organ department at Juilliard in New York City, plays the fourth and last movement of Felix Mendelssohn's Sonata in f minor at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on the Universit...

MTT and Paul Jacobs on Lou Harrison's Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra

Lou Harrison's Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra opens the American Mavericks concerts at the San Francisco Symphony on March 8 & 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm. A riveting and thrilling work...

11178 videos foundNext > 

52 news items

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:06:19 -0700

The program notes might have scared anyone away. Max Reger is “frequently described as one of the most 'difficult' composers in the whole classical canon,” they began, going on to call Reger's musical language disorienting and complex, his harmonic and ...

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:23:37 -0800

Jacob Handl's “Resonet in Laudibus”; Marc-Antoine Charpentier's “Messe de Minuit Pour Noel”; Harold Friedell's “When Christ Was Born of Mary Free”; Pierre Villette's “Hymne à la Vierge”; and other works; Paul Jacobs, organist; Nigel Potts, music director.
Fri, 17 Apr 2009 00:00:00 -0700

Paul Jacobs first caught the attention of San Francisco music-lovers in 2002 when he performed the entire organ compositions of Olivier Messiaen in a single nine-hour marathon. Mr. Jacobs makes his San Francisco Symphony debut in four performances of ...
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Mon, 14 Feb 2011 21:50:22 -0800

Washington, Pa., native Paul Jacobs wins Grammy for pipe organ recording. February 15, 2011 5:00 AM. Paul Jacobs Organist Paul Jacobs joined the ranks of Grammy winners such as Lady Gaga and. Organist Paul Jacobs joined the ranks of Grammy ...


Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:01:32 -0800

Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs. (727) 942-5605; tarponarts.com. Paul Jacobs: Organist Paul Jacobs returns to Largo with a recital that features works by Vierne, Schumann, Stanley, Duruflé, Bach, Mozart and Guilmant.
CultureMap Houston
Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:12:13 -0800

Paul Jacobs made a last minute decision to forgo the partiture for his River Oaks Chamber Orchestra debut performing Félix-Alexandre Guilmant's Symphony No. 1 for Organ and Orchestra. Photo by Terri Golas. ROCO review, Paul Jacobs, organist, ...
Aiken Standard
Sat, 09 Mar 2013 20:22:36 -0800

... and cellist Patrick McGuire, will perform for free at St. Mary's Help of Christians Catholic Church. At 6 p.m., Paul Jacobs, organist and Juilliard School's organ department chair, will headline “The Sublime Program” for free at St. Thaddeus ...
Aiken Standard
Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:59:51 -0700

So far, the Drama Division, duo Charles Yang and Peter Dugan, and Paul Jacobs, organist and The Juilliard School's organ department chair, have appeared at places like the URS Center for Performing Arts, Joye Cottage and St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church ...

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