LSO, LPO, RPO, CBSO, BBC SO, ECO, London Sinfonietta, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Britten Sinfonia, Orchestra of St Johns, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Siohan Davies Dance Company
Session work includes Gavyn Wright, George Hamer and Isobel Griffiths.
Julian's ensemble work also includes Capricorn, Endymion, Music Projects London, Opus 20, Shiva Nova, Trio of London, New London Chamber Ensemble.
Julian Jacobson studied at the Royal College of Music and Queen's College Oxford, and was also a founder-member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. His professional career encompasses a wide variety of work in many fields. As a soloist and enesmble player he has toured in over 40 countries world wide, performed at the principal UK festivals and made many CDs, radio broadcasts and TV appearences.
His duo partners include many leading international and UK soloists. In 2003 his performance of all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas in a single day attracted world wide media coverage. He gave the UK premiere of Ligeti's Etudes Book One and has been constantly involved with new music; he also continues to work as a jazz and cabaret pianist. As a composer he has written five film and TV scores, conducting the LPO, RTE Orchestra and his own studio ensembles. Several of his instumental pieces are published by Bardic Edition.
Julian was Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is now Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the Royal College of Music. He was the Artistic Director of the Paxos Festival, Greece, from 1988 to 2004
National Youth Jazz Orchestra
Lamar Crowson (piano), John Barstow (piano), Louis Kentner (piano), Arthur Benjamin (composition) and Humphrey Searle (composition).
Julian joined Morgensterns in January 2006
Julian's web profile was last updated 8th Feb 2019
Julian Jacobson studied piano with Lamar Crowson, John Barstow and Louis Kentner and composition with Arthur Benjamin and Humphrey Searle, and is also a graduate of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He enjoys a wide-ranging career as solo pianist, ensemble and duo partner, composer and arranger, conductor and teacher. He has appeared as soloist with the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony and English Chamber Orchestras, the London Mozart Players and London Sinfonietta under conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and Jane Glover.
His enormous repertoire includes the complete sonatas of Beethoven, which he presents regularly as a cycle. In October 2003 he made history by being the first pianist to perform the complete 32 sonatas of Beethoven in a single day in the UK, and apparently only the second anywhere; he will repeat the marathon in October 2004. In 2000 he presented "Beethoven-plus" in London - a series of eight concerts in which the sonatas were augmented by commissions from composers as diverse as Charles Camilleri, Philip Cashian, Daryl Runswick, Nikola Kodzabashia and Keith Tippett. Other composers who have written for him include Stephen Oliver, Simon Bainbridge, Robert Saxton and Benedict Mason. In 1987 he gave the much-praised UK premiere of Ligeti's now celebrated Etudes, Book One and has worked with composers including Carter, Kurtag, Lutoslawski, Jonathan Harvey and others.
Julian Jacobson has recorded over one hundred solo works for BBC Radio 3 as well as some 20 CDs. Prominent amongst these are the complete Weber Sonatas and a Schumann album including the C major Fantasy and Scenes from Childhood for Meridian, Martinu's Sinfonietta Giocosa with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta under Tamás Vásáry for Chandos, the violin and piano music of Dvorak with the violinist Susanne Stanzeleit, and much other repertoire. He performs the title music (Liszt's fist Transcendental Etude) on the prestigious video "Great Pianists of the 20th Century."
His international career has taken him to more than 30 countries on five continents with performances in North and South America, Australia, South Africa and throughout Western and Eastern Europe. He has appeared at the major UK festivals, and in recent years has become a popular guest on cruise-ships for P&O's "Classical Music at Sea" festivals, and other lines.
As a conductor he has worked with the European Community Chamber Orchestra in a concert and CD recording of contemporary Italian music, and has also conducted the London Philharmonic, Irish RTE and other ensembles in his own scores for To the Lighthouse, The Fourth Protocol and other films. Other compositions include songs, piano and chamber music; Hip, hip Bourr?e, a commission from Steven Isserlis for a cello and piano piece, is published in the Faber volume Unbeaten Tracks.
Formerly Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, he is now professor of piano and chamber music at the Royal College of Music in London. From 1988 until 2004 he was Artistic Director of the Paxos International Music Festival in Greece and gives masterclasses internationally.
Dartington, Jackdaws, international masterclasses & adjudicating
DVORAK Poetic Tone Pictures; Humoresques JULIAN JACOBSON - piano MERIDIAN - CDE 84521
MARTINU Sinfonietta Giocosa JULIAN JACOBSON - piano, TAMAS VASARY - conductor, BOURNEMOUTH SINFONEITTA CHANDOS CHAN 8859
SCHUMANN Fantasy in C Major Op. 17; Scenes From Childhood Op. 15; Four Marches Op. 76; Three Fantasy-Pieces Op. 111 JULIAN JACOBSON - piano MERIDIAN - CDE 84205
WEBER piano sonatas vol. 1 & Polacca Brillante, Op. 72 JULIAN JACOBSON - piano MERIDIAN CDE 84251
WEBER piano sonatas vol. 2 & Polacca Brillante, Op. 72 JULIAN JACOBSON - piano MERIDIAN CDE 84252
BRAHMS Sonatas fro viola and piano Op. 120; Songs for alto voice and piano Op. 91 JULIAN JACOBSON - piano, PAUL SILVERTHORNE - viola, SARAH WALKER - mezzo soprano MERIDIAN CDE 84190
DVORAK - vol. 1 Rinabce Op. 11, Sonata Op. 57, Ballad Op. 15; Nocturne Op. 40, Mazurek Op. 49 SUSANNE STANZELEIT - violin; JULIAN JACOBSON - piano MERIDIAN CDE 84274
DVORAK - vol. 2 Four Romantic Pieces Op. 75; Songs My Mother Taught Me Op 55 No. 4; Slavonic Dances; Humoresque; Rondo Op. 94; Sonatina Op. 100. SUSANNE STANZELEIT - violin, JULIAN JACOBSON - piano MERIDIAN CDE 84281
CAMILLERI Trio 'New York' *; Divertimento No. 1 *; Sarajevo 99 *; Tibet; Sonatina; Orbits; American Portraits DAVID CAMPBELL & GODFREY MIFSUD - clarinets, SUSANNE STANZELEIT - violin, JULIAN JACOBSON - piano * MERIDIAN CDE 84407
CAMILLERI Trio No. 2; Shomyo; Duo Sonata; Dirge 11.09.01; Four Greek Songa; Divertimento No. 2; Three Folk Songs from Malta DAVID CAMPBELL - clarinet, ZOň MARTLEW - cello, JULIAN JACOBSON - piano MERIDIAN CDE 84470
ENESCU Sonata No. 2 in F minor Op 6; Sonata No. 3 Op. 25; Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1 in A Op. 11 SUSANNE STANZELEIT - violin, JULIAN JACOBSON - piano MERIDIAN CDE 84469
GLINKA Grand Sextet in E flat major ; RIMSKY-KORSAKOV; Quintet in B flat major with CAPRICORN HYPERION A66163
STRAVINSKY Les Noces with NEW LONDON CHAMBER CHOIR & ENSEMBLE, VORONEZH CHAMBER CHOIR , JAMES WOOD - conductor HYPERION A66410
Muisc & Vision
"Not only a remarkable achievement of stamina, memory and dexterity, Julian Jacobson's Beethoven Marathon [October 2004] was also an exhilarating artistic experience, for both performer and audience." see Malcolm Miller's review in full below
"A disarming technique coupled with undoubted intellectual mastery made Julian Jacobson's recital an awe-inspiring experience."
"Julian Jacobson, in stylish and idiomatic fashion, delivered the piano part with immense brio, the orchestra complementing his efforts in a brilliantly successful account."
Muisc & Vision
Not only a remarkable achievement of stamina, memory and dexterity, Julian Jacobson's Beethoven Marathon -- a performance of all Beethoven's thirty two piano sonatas in a single day -- was also an exhilarating, if slightly eccentric, artistic experience, for both performer and audience. The amazing Marathon on 17 October 2004 attracted a select yet enthusiastic gathering to the colourful acoustics of Elliot Hall, Harrow Arts Centre in the UK, sponsored by the Bond Street Boutique, Pinner. The event was in support of the West House and Heath Robinson Museum Trust, the charity of the Mayor of Harrow, who was present for the final concert, alongside several audience members who had stayed the course for the entire day.
One has become accustomed to hearing all the Beethoven sonatas in a cycle over several different concerts, but the notion of combining them back to back seemed entirely apt in this age of charity marathons. Julian Jacobson, a Professor at the Royal College of Music and experienced concert and broadcasting artist, described the idea of performing all of Beethoven's thirty-two piano sonatas in a single day, as 'insane', but also a means of allowing the listener an unique perspective on the style development across Beethoven's entire career, a powerful and persuasive aesthetic experience. In that sense it is interesting that none of the 'great interpreters', such as Schnabel or Barenboim, had ever tried it, and all the more reason to celebrate Jacobson's achievement.
This was in addition Jacobson's second such marathon, the first last year was in aid of Water Aid, at St James's Piccadilly in London. On this second occasion the thirty two sonatas, some ten hours of music, were divided up into four successive recitals. The two morning concerts comprised eight sonatas each, the first devoted to the first decade in Vienna, up to the Pathetique, while the second concert included the Moonlight and the first Op 31 sonata. The third recital, which I was fortunate to attend, began with the dramatic Op 31 No 2 in D minor, the embodiment of the 'new path' of Beethoven's middle period, and concluded with Op 90 in E minor, from the experimental period in between middle and late styles. The final concert began with Op 101 and included the Hammerklavier and three last sonatas.
A recital programme of eleven Beethoven sonatas is certainly a rarity, if not unique, and with Jacobson's arresting, evocative and brilliant performances, the concert as a whole was a most moving, and breathtaking, experience. The highlight for me was a magnetic and involving Appassionata as well as the final E minor sonata with its lyrical beauty. The chronological (published) sequence fell naturally into contrasting groups, the first including Opp 31 Nos 2-3 which contrasted the D minor's riveting turbulence with the E flat's brighter intensity. The ensuing two Op 49 sonatas, composed somewhat earlier, provided 'light relief', Beethoven's charm and playfulness, his classical influences, were conveyed with characterful elegance. There was an especially cheery and relaxed mood in the G major sonata that Jacobson admitted was the first sonata he had ever learned. A more serious mood coloured the next group of three, Opp 53, 54 and 57. The energy of the first movement of the Waldstein, taken at a tremendous pace (time is of the essence in marathons and this helped authentic tempi), was combined with a wonderful mellow timbre from the Fazioli piano; as in the Appassionata that followed, there was never an ugly sound, even in the strongest of fortissimi, whilst the resonance of the pedalled rondo finale of Op 53, and the serene calm of the variation slow movement of Op 57, evinced expressive nuances of shading. In the Appassionata Jacobson found renewed vigour and inspiration: it was an enthralling account which seemed to stretch every mental and emotional sinew. Op 54 formed an ideal contrast between these two monumental sonatas, its more relaxed yet flowing energy controlled and coloured with much subtlety.
Jacobson joked that the beginning of Op 78 was Beethoven's way of being nice to the piano after the violence of Op 57, and his caressing touch brought supple richness to this less often played sonata in F sharp, with its bristling effervescent vivace finale. Its companion work, the sonata Op 79 in G, was projected with wit and delicacy, with an attractively soulful slow movement, and a charming, lyrical finale. These two sonatas suggested a return to classical proportions after the expansion of Op 57, and highlighted the far more romantic experimentation of the sonatas Op 81a and Op 90. The changing harmonies of the famous motto in Les Adieux were evocatively depicted, while every gesture seemed personal and communicative. A tiny memory slip at the start seemed put in deliberately just to remind the audience that this was a human endeavour, for the rest of the thirty-two sonatas were delivered note perfectly, and with great beauty of tone, underlining not only Jacobson's exceptional intellect but his incredible insight resulting from lifelong immersion in Beethoven's music, qualities which deserve exposure to a far wider public. One awaits Jacobson's next marathon with interest and eagerness.
Copyright © 23 October 2004 Malcolm Miller, London UK