Julian Jacobson studied piano with Lamar Crowson, John Barstow and Louis Kentner, and composition with Arthur Benjamin and Humphrey Searle, and is also an alumnus of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. His career covers a wide span of activity as a solo pianist, ensemble and duo partner, composer and arranger, conductor and teacher.
He has appeared as soloist with the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony and English Chamber Orchestras, the London Mozart Players, London Sinfonietta and Bournemouth Sinfonietta, under conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Tamas Vasary and Jane Glover. His duo and ensemble partners include legendary figures such as Sandor Vegh, Zara Nelsova and Ivry Gitlis as well as many leading British and international soloists.
His wide-ranging solo repertoire includes the 32 sonatas of Beethoven, which he has performed many times as a cycle. In 2000 he presented “Beethoven-plus” in London, a series of eight concerts in which the sonatas were augmented by eight commissions from composers as diverse as Charles Camilleri, Philip Cashian, Daryl Runswick, Andrew Wilson-Dickson and Keith Tippett. Other composers who have written for him include Stephen Oliver, Simon Bainbridge, Robert Saxton and Benedict Mason, and he has given many UK premieres including, in 1987, the critically acclaimed first UK performance of Ligeti’s now-famous Etudes Book One.
Solo recordings include the complete sonatas of Weber, together with shorter pieces such as “Invitation to the Dance”, a Schumann album including the C major Fantasy and “Scenes from Childhood”, and an album of virtuoso pieces by Balakirev including the Sonata and “Islamey”. Other recordings include Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the RPO, Martinu’s “Sinfonietta Giocosa” with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta under Tamas Vasary and many duo and ensemble CDs, and he has recorded more than a hundred solo works for the BBC.
Julian has toured in over 30 countries on five continents, with concerts in New York, Paris, Budapest, Moscow, Beijing (where he apparently gave the Chinese premiere of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata) and other major musical centres. In recent years he has become a popular guest soloist on cruise-ships for P&O’s classical music festivals and other lines.
As a conductor, Jacobson has worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Irish RTE Orchestra and the European Community Chamber Orchestra, and with many student ensembles. His compositions are published by Bardic Press and Faber.
Formerly Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, he is now a professor at the Royal College of Music. He is Artistic Director of the Paxos International Music Festival in Greece, and gives masterclasses internationally.
Eva’s Waltz (Waltz Impromptu No. 4) for Violin and Piano (BD0113)
Gothenburg Waltz (Waltz Impromptu No. 1) for Violoncello (or Viola) and Piano (BD0114)
Lydian Waltz (Waltz Impromptu No. 3) for Violin and Piano (BD0115)
Valse (Waltz Impromptu No. 2) for Flute and Piano (BD0116)
Vers la Valse for Alto Flute, Flute and Piano (BD0693)
Waltz for Judy for Flute and Piano (BD0694)
Vers la Valse for Flute and Orchestra* - not yet available
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