The Great French Organ Tradition With Paul Jacobs on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 7:30pm in Paul Hall

Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019
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Three-Recital Series Opens at Juilliard 

NEW YORK –– Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs, chair of Juilliard’s organ department, will perform a three-recital series in September 2019 featuring a program of works drawn from throughout the great French organ tradition. Although months in the planning, these French programs assumed new meaning the night of April 15-16, 2019, when the Grand Organ of Notre-Dame Cathedral survived the devastating fire in Paris.

Jacobs opens the series performing on the Holtkamp organ in Juilliard’s Paul Hall on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 7:30pm. The series continues on the 1933 Aeolian-Skinner “Opus 891” at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 7:30pm, and concludes on St. Ignatius Loyola’s 1993 Mander Organ on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at 7:30pm. The Juilliard recital is presented as part of the Daniel Saidenberg Faculty Recital Series.

Tickets for the September 10 recital are $20 ($10 for students with a valid ID) and will be available beginning August 20, 2019, at For information on tickets at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, call (212) 772-1132 or go to eventbrite and for St. Ignatius Loyola Church, go to

A highlight of the Juilliard program will be the U.S. premiere of Naji Hakim’s Tanets, inspired by the rhythm of the Basque fandango. The piece, in three parts, develops a joyful theme in a perpetuum mobile of sixteenth notes, developed by a tonal game of modulation.

On programming the recitals, Jacobs writes: “The French have always been rightly proud of their organ music. The culture has produced scores of excellent composers and virtuoso performers, not to mention masterpieces like Messiaen’s Messe de la Pentecôte, Duruflé’s Suite, and Vierne’s Sixth Organ Symphony, to name but a few. In constructing these particular programs, I wanted to offer, here in New York, a glimpse of this tradition over the past 200 years, including the familiar with the exotic, the profane with the sacred, and the intimate with the sublime.”

A complete listing of the programs follows at the end of this press release.

On May 7, 2020, students of Paul Jacobs will present a recital at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan. For information on tickets for the St. Bartholomew Church recital featuring Juilliard organists, go to

About Paul Jacobs

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 5 continents and in 50 states. The only organist ever to have won a Grammy Award—in 2011 for Messiaen’s towering Livre du Saint-Sacrement— Jacobs is an eloquent champion of his instrument both in the U.S. and abroad.

Jacobs has transfixed audiences, colleagues, and critics alike with landmark performances of the complete works for solo organ by J.S. Bach and Messiaen as well as works by a vast array of other composers. He made musical history at age 23 when he 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, Bernd Richard Deutsch, John Harbison, Wayne Oquin, Stephen Paulus, Christopher Theofanidis, and Christopher Rouse, among others. As a teacher he has also been a vocal proponent of the redeeming nature of traditional and contemporary classical music.

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. Jacobs regularly appears with the Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Nashville Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Toledo Symphony, and Utah Symphony, among others.

Highlights of Jacobs’ 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 maestro Giancarlo Guerrero, including programs with the Nashville Symphony, Bamberg Symphony, and NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic; a recital for the inauguration of the newly restored Hazel Wright organ at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, under the aegis of the American Guild of Organists Orange County Chapter and the Catholic Diocese of Orange County; and a Paris recital at the Maison de la Radio, presented by Radio France and the Orchestre National de France, featuring the world premiere of a new work written for Jacobs by the French composer Jean-Baptiste Robin.

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 Juilliard in 2003 and was named chair of the organ department in 2004, one of the youngest faculty appointees in the school’s history. He received Juilliard’s prestigious William Schuman Scholar’s Chair in 2007. In 2017 he received an honorary doctorate from Washington and Jefferson College.

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Program Listings:

The Great French Organ Tradition

Paul Jacobs, Organ

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 7:30pm, Juilliard’s Paul Hall, 155 West 65th Street, NYC

Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Variations sur un Noël, Op. 20

Nadia BOULANGER (1887-1979) Trois pièces pour orgue

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Pièce héroïque

Jehan ALAIN (1911-1940) Le jardin suspendu

Naji HAKIM (b. 1955) Tanets

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Le Cygne

Alexandre GUILMANT (1837-1911) Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 42

Tickets for the Juilliard recital on September 10 are $20 ($10 for students with a valid ID) and will be available beginning August 20 at


Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 7:30pm, The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 145 West 46th Street, NYC

Jean LANGLAIS (1907-1991) “Acclamations Carolingiennes” from Suite Médiévale, Op. 56

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1991) Messe de la Pentecôte

Henri MULET (1878-1967) “Rosace” from Esquisses Byzantine

Jean GUILLOU (1930-2019) Saga No. 4, Op. 20

Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Suite, Op. 5

For information on tickets at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, call (212) 772-1132 or go to eventbrite.


Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 7:30pm, St. Ignatius Loyola Church, 980 Park Avenue, NYC

Léon BOËLLMANN (1862-1897) Suite Gothique, Op. 25

Thierry ESCAICH (b. 1965) “Eaux natales” from Poèmes pour orgue

Jeanne DEMESSIEUX (1921-1968) Twelve Preludes on Gregorian Themes (selections)

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) “Andante Sostenuto” from Symphonie Gothique, Op. 70

Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Symphonie in B Minor, Op. 59

For information on tickets for St. Ignatius Loyola Church, go to

Organist Paul Jacobs
The Great French Organ Tradition With Paul Jacobs on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 7:30pm in Paul Hall (photo by Daniel Ficarri)