The only organist ever to have won a Grammy Award (in 2011 for Messiaen’s “Livre du Saint-Sacrement”), Paul Jacobs joined the faculty in 2003 and became chair of the organ department in 2004. In 2007 he was awarded Juilliard’s William Schuman Scholar’s Chair. At age 23, Jacobs played Bach’s complete organ works in an 18-hour marathon performance on the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. A fierce advocate of new music, Jacobs has premiered works by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, Wayne Oquin, Stephen Paulus, Christopher Theofanidis, and Christopher Rouse, among others. He has performed as a soloist with Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Edmonton, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Montreal, Los Angeles, Nashville, National, Pacific, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Utah Symphony Orchestras. In May 2017 he served as president of the jury for the first International Organ Competition in Shanghai, China. He has performed in all 50 U.S. states and has toured throughout Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia in recital. In addition to his concert and teaching appearances, Jacobs is a frequent performer at festivals across the world, and has been featured frequently in The New York Times and appeared on American Pubic Media’s Performance Today, Pipedreams, and Saint Paul Sunday, as well as NPR’s Morning Edition, ABC-TV’s World News Tonight, and BBC Radio 3.
Jacobs received his bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, double-majoring with John Weaver for organ and Lionel Party for harpsichord, and his master’s and Artist Diploma from Yale University where he studied with Thomas Murray. His recordings are available on the Naxos, JAV, and SF Symphony labels.