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Gordon Jacob

 1895 - 1984Gordon Jacob Photo © Boosey & Hawkes


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One of the most popular and versatile of British 20th century composers, particularly acclaimed for his works in a lighter vein * Gordon Jacob was educated at Dulwich College and studied composition at the Royal College of Music with Stanford, Parry and Howells * Taught at Birkbeck College before returning to the RCM in 1926 as a lecturer for 40 years, where his pupils included Malcolm Arnold, Imogen Holst, Elizabeth Maconchy and Bernard Stevens * Music characterized by craftsmanship, virtuosity of instrumentation, and lively wit * Output includes valuable concertos for neglected instruments * Through skillful arrangements furthered cause of other composers including William Byrd, Vaughan Williams and Holst * Text books an important resource for composition teaching, including Orchestral Technique (1931) and The Composer and his Art (1960) * Vital interest in practical musicmaking, including conducting orchestras and bands

Works by Gordon Jacob include:
Divertimento (1938) for small orchestra
Double Concerto (1976) for clarinet, trumpet and strings
Flute Concerto No.2 (1981) for flute and strings
Mini-Concerto (1980) for clarinet and strings

"I think the question of communication is important, because one never wants to write down to an audience, but at the same time I personally feel repelled by the intellectual snobbery of some progressive artists... the day that melody is discarded altogether, you may as well pack up music..." — Gordon Jacob

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