Summer School of Music
Julian Jacobson’s biography
Julian Jacobson is one of Britain’s most creative and distinctive pianists. He has been a vital and original presence in the British musical world and in more than forty countries worldwide since the 1970’s. In his early years he was a highly sought-after duo and ensemble partner but following his appointment as Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 1992 he concentrated more on solo work, becoming particularly admired for his performances of the complete Beethoven sonatas. To date he has given eleven complete cycles, five of these being “marathon” performances of all 32 sonatas in a single day. He is Chairman of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and gives masterclasses on the sonatas internationally.
His CDs for labels including Decca, Argo, Chandos, Hyperion, SOMM, Meridian and Continuum cover a wide repertoire from Mozart to Nyman and include his own music and transcriptions. He has given important UK and world premieres of works by Ligeti, Xenakis, Takemitsu, Schnittke and many others. Julian has performed with many of the principal British orchestras with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Tamás Vársáry and Jane Glover and at most of the major UK festivals. He has composed and conducted the music for five films including “To the Lighthouse” and “We Think The World Of You” as well as several instrumental pieces published by Schott/Bardic Edition and Faber Music.
His recent virtuoso transcriptions for piano duet of Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody and “An American in Paris” have won substantial acclaim and are now being played by many duos. Julian is currently a professor at the Royal College of Music, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and is Guest Professor at Xiamen University, China and was for twenty years a diploma examiner for the ABRSM. He enjoys singing jazz and has given four performances as reciter of Schoenberg’s ‘Pierrot Lunaire’.