Heralded as “one of the major musicians of our time” by Alex Ross of The New Yorker and as “America’s leading organ performer” by The Economist, the internationally celebrated organist Paul Jacobs combines a probing intellect and extraordinary technical mastery with an unusually large repertoire, both early music and contemporary. He has performed to great critical acclaim on five continents and in each of the fifty United States. The only organist ever to have won a Grammy Award. The artist has given landmark performances of the complete works for solo organ by Johann Sebastian Bach and Olivier Messiaen. A fierce advocate of the contemporary music, Paul 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.
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. He regularly appears with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, 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.
Paul Jacobs studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with organist John Weaver and harpsichordist Lionel Party, and at Yale University with Thomas Murray (organ). He joined the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2003, and was named chairman of the organ department in 2004, one of the youngest faculty appointees in the school’s history. In 2017, he received an honorary doctorate from Washington & Jefferson College. In 2021, The American Guild of Organists named him recipient of the International Performer of the Year Award.