Violin, composer (United States) Violinist Colin Jacobsen, a 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, first played to critical acclaim at the age of fourteen, collaborating with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic in a performance that was hailed by the New York Times: "Jacobsen was the impressively accomplished soloist in Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, sounding as if he were born to the instrument and its sweet, lyrical possibilities." In May of 2006, he returned to the New York Philharmonic in a performance of Brahms' Double Concerto with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, with David Zinman conducting.
Jacobsen began his violin studies at the age of four with Doris Rothenberg and continued with Louise Behrend at the School for Strings and, later, at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division, where he won the school-wide concerto competition. He was also the recipient of the Grand Prize from both the New York State and National American String Teachers Association Competitions. Jacobsen studied with Josef Gingold for two summers and graduated in 1999 from the Juilliard School, where he worked with Robert Mann. During the 2000-2001 season, he continued his studies with Vera Beths at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague.
Over the past few years, Jacobsen has entered into a wide range of musical activities. In addition to his appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Jacobsen has been guest soloist with the symphony orchestras of Albany, Charlotte, Chicago, Eugene, Rhode Island, Nashville, Charleston, the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, Santa Fe Pro Musica, BMOP and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. At the School for Strings 25th-anniversary celebration at Carnegie Hall, Jacobsen gave the world premiere of Ellen Taafe Zwillich's Partita for Violin and String Orchestra. In an unusual concerto collaboration, he recently premiered a concerto by Kevin Beavers based on Pulitzer- Prize-winning author William Kennedy's novel Roscoe, with the author narrating. Along with his brother, the cellist Eric Jacobsen, he founded the Knights, a flexible chamber orchestra that has recently recorded two albums for Sony Classical and performed at the opening of the Dresden Musikfestspiele.
As a touring member of the Silk Road Ensemble, Jacobsen has collaborated with musicians from Asia and the Middle East, including the kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor and the great Azerbaijani singer Alim Qasimov. The group has recorded for the Sony Classical label and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. Jacobsen recently arranged an ancient Persian song for the Ensemble, entitled Ascending Bird, and is working on other compositions for the group.
Jacobsen has toured China with Tan Dun, performing with the composer his Water Passion based on St. Matthew. He has also enjoyed cross-disciplinary explorations with several dance companies, including the New York City Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. In May of 2005, he wrote and performed the music for Spiral Songs, a collaboration with C. Eule Dance.
Jacobsen is a member of Brooklyn Rider; a string quartet that is also composed of violinist Johnny Gandelsman, violist Nicholas Cords and cellist Eric Jacobsen. In the summer of 2006, the members of Brooklyn Rider collectively helped to found the Stillwater Music Festival in Minnesota. Other summer performances have taken him to the Banff Centre for the Arts, Bravo! Colorado Music Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, the Moritzburg Festival, Ravinia Festival, Salzburg Festival and in Taiwan's National Concert Hall.
Jacobsen performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at Bargemusic, and is a member of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert. He has performed in chamber music settings with musicians such as Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Mark O’Connor, Phillip Glass, Steven Isserlis, Christian Tetzlaff and Jan Vogler. As the Young Artist in Residence for NPR's Performance Today, he curated a weeks' programming and performed live for listeners across the country. Jacobsen has also been a resident performer on WQXR Radio's weekly On A-I-R (Artists-in-Radio) Series.
Colin Jacobsen plays a Guarneri violin crafted in 1696. He appears on the Silk Road Ensemble's albums When Strangers Meet, Beyond the Horizon, New Impossibilities and Off the Map.