Paul Jacobs – Press

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World Premiere of John Harbison's "What Do We Make of Bach" with the Minnesota Orchestra

After $3 million restoration, Northrop pipe organ roars again

by Terry Blain Star Tribune

October 14, 2018

“Paul Jacobs displayed sparkling fingers in the cadential passages but kept his most dazzling work for the Bach fugue that he played solo as an encore.”

James MacMillan's Scotch Bestiary with the Philadelphia Orchestra

Philadelphia Orchestra Brit fest opens on a wild note (cue the hyenas) with MacMillan’s ‘Scotch Bestiary’

by David Patrick Stearns The Inquirer

January 12, 2018

“Jacobs thoughtfully colored and shaped the music’s numerous descriptive effects with expressive precision that brought out the music’s natural wit, but more important, its purpose… …If this was musical stand-up comedy, then Jacobs beautifully articulated and shaped the jokes but didn’t punch them so hard that they lost their inner humanity. Or animal impulsiveness.”

Bach and Brahms with Cleveland Orchestra

Paul Jacobs with Cleveland Orchestra

Cleveland Classical

February 24, 2015

“It was a fine thing to hear a world-class artist like Paul Jacobs performing in the context of an orchestral program in such a venue as Severance Hall.”

Recital: Music from Paris, Kennedy Center

Paul Jacobs at Kennedy Center

The Washington Post

February 6, 2014

“Three brief selections from Messiaen’s ‘Livre du Saint Sacrement’ showed the particular mastery Jacobs has over this composer’s works.”

CD Review, Copland Organ Symphony with SFSO

CD Review, Copland Organ Symphony with SFSO

Los Angeles Times

March 29, 2011

“The real knockout is the companion piece, Aaron Copland’s Organ Symphony, written when he was 23 and banging down the Modernist doors with his jazziness and serious contemplation. The performance, with Paul Jacobs as organist, is brilliant.”


Paul Jacobs: A Solo Organ Spectacular

by Paul Jacobs The Wall Street Journal

October 20, 2023

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH is possi- bly the most influential and sublime composer in history. Everyone from Mozart and Beethoven to the Beatles and Lady Gaga has paid him homage. During his life, however, Bach’s fame derived less from his compositions than from his being, according to his obituary, “The World Famous Organ- ist” who could “play with his two feet on the pedals what others would find bitter enough to play with five fingers.” Though his thundering “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” (BWV 565) remains one of his most popular pieces, Bach also created in- timately scaled wonders that exploit the more delicate timbres of the “King of Instruments.”… read more here


“Sublimity can be terrifying” – Paul Jacobs

by ZB Living the Classical Life

July 21, 2019

Paul Jacobs is known for his unusual “firsts”: He landed an official church appointment at the age of 15, won a Grammy for organ, and played the complete works of Bach in an 18-hour marathon concert. In this thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation, Paul Jacobs discusses a wide range of topics. Why do miracles happen only when you’re alone with yourself and the music? Why play organ music in today’s existential vacuum? How do you find an individual voice on the most complex and variable of instruments? And what does it take to memorize an invisible matrix of pistons, stop pulling etc. and all the notes of six-part counterpoint Bach?

Running time: 33 minutes