Over a span of almost five decades, Julian Jacobson has earned a reputation as a pianist of penetrating insight and rare sensitivity over a broad range of
repertoire. Initially acclaimed as a fine chamber music and duo pianist working with many leading soloists and ensembles, from the 1990s he concentrated more on the core solo repertoire. He gave his first cycles of the complete Beethoven sonatas in 1995-6 and has now given the cycle some ten times: three of these were “marathon” performances when he played the entire cycle from memory in a single day. He has also performed complete cycles of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas, Cello Sonatas and Variations. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, which organises concert series, competitions, masterclasses and lectures on all aspects of the piano in Beethoven’s oeuvre.
Jacobson studied at the Royal College of Music under John Barstow, at Queen’s College Oxford, and with Louis Kentner. He was also a founder-member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and jazz, which he still sometimes performs, has remained a vitalising influence. He has also performed the Sprechstimme role of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire four times. He gave the UK premiere of Ligeti’s now famous Etudes Book 1 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1987. He has toured in over 40 countries on five continents, in recent years making regular visits to China where he is Guest Professor at Xiamen University. Formerly Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, he currently teaches at the Royal College of Music, London, and Birmingham Conservatoire.
He has composed five TV and film scores including To The Lighthouse and We Think The World Of You, as well as instrumental pieces and songs. More recently, his virtuoso transcriptions for piano four hands of Gershwin’s An American In Paris and Second Rhapsody, for his piano duo with Mariko Brown, have won widespread acclaim. His music is published by Schott/Bardic Edition.