Gordon Jacob

Born: July 5, 1895
Norwood, London, England
cancer
Died: June 8, 1984

Gordon Percival Septimus Jacob was born in Norwood, near London in 1895. Educated at Dulwich College and the Royal College of Music he studied composition with Stanford, theory with Howells and conducting under Adrian Boult. In 1926 he joined the staff of the RCM, where he was professor of composition, orchestration and theory until his retirement in 1966.

All of Gordon Jacob's compositions reveal a highly skilled craftsman at work. He wrote for most genres, but primarily orchestral, choral and chamber works. He was an authority on the subject of orchestral writing and his book Orchestral Technique (1931) is considered a standard textbook.

The accessibility of his music and his tremendous skill as an orchestrator and idiomatic instrumental writer, mean his music will be enjoyed by audiences and performers alike for many years to come.

Gordon Jacob was born in London on July 5, 1895 and died in Saffron Walden, England, on June 8, 1984. He received his education from both Dulwich College and the Royal College of Music, earning a Doctor of Music degree in 1935. From 1926, he was a member of the faculty at the latter institution and taught counterpoint, orchestration, and composition. A long line of his composition students, including Malcolm Arnold, Antony Hopkins, and Bernard Stevens, went on to successful careers. His orchestral and choral works include a ballet, concert overture, two symphonies, numerous concertos for wind and string instruments, many pedagogic works for piano and for chorus and a variety of chamber works, songs, and film music.

Dr Jacob joined the staff at the RCM in 1926. In 1934 he qualified B.Mus and in 1936 D.Mus. and was appointed to a professorship at the RCM which he held until he retired in 1966. In 1946 he was elected a Fellow of the RCM and an honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1947.

His output of compositions of all kinds was continuous from 1926 when he composed a concerto for violin and orchestra. Later works included two symphonies, three symphonic suites, a sinfonietta, variations on an air by Purcell, many concertos and vocal settings for William Blake's Songs of Innocence. In 1953 he composed a special arrangement of the National Anthem for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He was also the author of several music books with a wide readership.



Instruments Played / Skills:
Composer

Genres:
Classical Music
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