Organist Paul Jacobs has performed on five continents and in each of the fifty United States. He is the only organist to have won a Grammy award, for his recording of Messiaen’s Livre du Saint-Sacrément. At the age of twenty-three, Mr. Jacobs played Bach's complete organ works in an eighteen-hour marathon performance on the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. An advocate of new music, he has premiered works by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Bernd Richard Deutsch, John Harbison, Wayne Oquin, Stephen Paulus, Christopher Theofanidis, and Christopher Rouse, among others.
Highlights of Mr. Jacobs's 2019–20 season include performances of Michael Daugherty's Once Upon a Castle with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kansas City Symphony; three orchestral engagements with Giancarlo Guerrero, including programs with the Nashville Symphony, Bamberg Symphony, and NFM Wrocław Philharmonic; a recital for the inauguration of the newly restored Hazel Wright organ at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA and the Catholic Diocese of Orange County; and a Paris recital at Maison de la Radio, presented by Radio France and Orchestre National de France, featuring the world premiere of a new work written for Mr. Jacobs by the French composer Jean-Baptiste Robin.
Mr. Jacobs made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2009. He can be heard on the Symphony’s recordings of Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra (recorded in 2012 as part of the American Mavericks Festival) and Copland’s Organ Symphony, both for SFS Media.
Mr. Jacobs studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with organist John Weaver and harpsichordist Lionel Party, 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. He received Juilliard's William Schuman Scholar's Chair in 2007. ln 2017 he received an honorary doctorate from Washington and Jefferson College in his hometown of Washington, PA.