Jeffrey Jacob is described by the Warsaw Music Journal as “unquestionably one of the greatest performers of 20th century music,” and the New York Times as “an artist of intense concentration and conviction.” He received his education from the Juilliard School (Master of Music) and the Peabody Conservatory (Doctorate) and counts Mieczysław Munz, Carlo Zecchi, and Leon Fleisher as his principal teachers. As a composer, he has written five symphonies, three piano concertos, and numerous works for piano and chamber ensemble. Raymond Leppard and the Indianapolis Symphony premiered his Symphony: Winter Lightning. The London Symphony recently recorded his Symphony No. 3. The Moscow and St. Petersburg Symphonies premiered respectively his Piano Concertos 1 and 2 with the composer as soloist. The Gregg Smith Singers premiered his Sleeping at Last for mixed chorus and solo cello. Jacob’s Persistence of Memory was premiered by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony at the 1999 College Music Society National Convention, and was selected by the Charles Ives Center for American Music for a performance by the Charleston Symphony at the 2002 Charleston Spoleto Festival.
Other works have been premiered and recorded by the Orquesta de Baja California, the Chamber Orchestra of the Rhein, the North Czech Philharmonic, the Cuban National Symphony, the Cavani and New England String Quartets, and sopranos Mary Nessinger and Laurel Thomas. Three albums of Jacob’s orchestral music have been released by Centaur Records, Vienna Modern Masters, and PARMA Recordings, and recordings of individual works appear on several labels including Albany, Opus One, Capstone, and New Ariel.
Since his debut with the London Philharmonic in Royal Festival Hall, he has appeared as piano soloist with over 25 orchestras internationally including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Seattle, Portland, Indianapolis, Charleston, São Paulo, and Brazil National Symphonies, the Silesian, Moravian and North Czech Philharmonics, and recently, the London Symphony, the New Jersey Philharmonic, and the Cuban National Symphony. A noted proponent of contemporary music, he has performed the world premieres of works written for him by George Crumb, Vincent Persichetti, Gunther Schuller, Samuel Adler, Francis Routh, and many others. He has performed solo recitals in London, Dublin, Glasgow, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Prague, Warsaw, Bucharest, Milan, Madrid, Helsinki, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Havana, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Jakarta, Tokyo, Sydney, Auckland, Toronto, Ottawa, and throughout the United States.
Jacob has recorded over 120 works for solo piano and piano with orchestra, including his critically acclaimed series of albums of the complete piano music of Samuel Barber and George Crumb and major works of Béla Bartók. Fanfare Magazine recently devoted a feature article to his series of albums for New Ariel Recordings entitled “Contemporary American Eclectic Music for the Piano.” Additionally, he has made radio recordings for Radio Warsaw, Radio Prague, and Brazil National Radio, as well as a series of recordings of American music for the BBC. For 38 years he was Chair of the Piano Division, Artist-in Residence, and Professor of Music at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame IN.
Among his numerous honors and awards, he was the first American to receive the Commemorative Medal from the Beijing Central Conservatory and the first American in over 50 years to perform as piano soloist with the Cuban National Symphony. He recently received the Artist of the Year Award from the International Consortium for New Music from New York University for his work as a composer, pianist, and educator.