Music composition, theory, electronic music, Founder of NC NewMusic Initiative
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I began playing violin at age 8, but abandoned that at age 11—upon hearing a friend’s jazz quartet—in favor of the saxophone. At the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I focused on jazz performance, and then in composition (Salvatore Macchia, Robert Stern); then pursued graduate study at the University of California, Berkeley in composition (Andrew Imbrie, Olly Wilson, Gerard Grisey); and received a doctorate at Columbia University (Chou Wen-Chung, Mario Davidovsky, Marty Boykan, George Edwards).
I write for a variety of forces, from soloists to chamber ensembles, orchestra, concerto, choir, and electronic media; and particularly like writing for friends, as I have done for a number of solo pieces.
My music is published by C. F. Peters Corp., NY, APNM and ACA. Recordings by Chris Grymes and Xak Bjerken of Aural History (clarinet & piano), and A Function of Memory are available on A “Function of Memory,” on Open G Records; and Passed Time (brass quintet) is on the Meridian Arts Ensemble’s “Seven Kings,” Innova Records (No. 943). Release appears on Ablaze Records Orchestra Masters series; and The Line Between (for soprano and fixed media, with poetry of E. E. Cummings), al momento, Palladium (song on poetry of James Brasfield), and Addressing Wonder (vla, vc, pno) are on “Addressing Wonder,” on Open G Records.
My work as a composer has been recognized by a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Charles Ives Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts & Letters. The Academy’s citation reads “Jacobs’s music masters the ‘virtual’ and ‘real’ sound habitats and embeds them into a unified and consistent single space with grace, broad orchestral imagination and expressivity. Jacobs’s music is immediately engaging, attractive and intellectually demanding.”
I began teaching at East Carolina University in 1998, and I’m very grateful to be a part of a fabulous, generous, caring group of colleagues. Here at ECU I have received three Research/Creative Activity Grants, as well as a Teacher-Scholar Award. My title is Robert L. Jones Distinguished Professor of Music. I am the founding director of the NC NewMusic Initiative, and the creator of the Initiative’s unique Commissioning program.
You can find lots of other NewMusic Initiative videos here–check out our students’ great performances!], begun in March, 2001; and am also proud of my time also working in the Pitt County Public Schools, collaborating 2004-2008 with middle school general music teachers in my “Young Composers Project,” which sought to make the creation of music a fundamental part of our children’s education.
For more information, and to listen to some music: www.edwardjacobs.org