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, David Zinman conducting.

Colin 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. Mr. 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, Colin Jacobsen has entered into a wide range of musical activities. In addition to his appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Jacobsen has been guest soloist with the symphony orchestras of Albany, Charlotte, Chicago, Eugene, Rhode Island, Nashville, Charleston, the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. At the School for Strings 25th anniversary celebration at Carnegie Hall, Mr. 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 played at such diverse events and venues as the Beethoven Festival at the Planting Fields Arboretum, the MATA contemporary music festival, Tonic, and Bargemusic.

As a touring member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, Mr. Jacobsen has collaborated with musicians from Asia and the Middle East including the kemanche 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. Mr. Jacobsen recently arranged an ancient Persian song for the Ensemble, entitled Ascending Bird and is working on other compositions for the group. He has toured China with Tan Dun performing with the composer his Water Passion based on St. Matthew. Mr. Jacobsen 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.

Mr. Jacobsen is a member of Brooklyn Rider; a string quartet that is comprised of violinist Jonathan 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.

Mr. 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 Joshua Bell, Mark O’Connor, Phillip Glass, Steven Isserlis 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. Mr. 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.


The Brooklyn Lyceum | April 1, 2008
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | March 29, 2008
Moonshine Room at Club Café | March 26, 2008

News and Press

[CD Review] American Record Guide reviews Lisa Bielawa: In Media Res

Prix de Rome recipient Lisa Bielawa (b. 1968, daughter of composer Herbert) has recently been composer in residence with Gil Rose’s Boston Modern Orchestra Project (2006-09). Ms. Bielawa (brought up in San Francisco but now living in Manhattan) is a Yale graduate, but her degrees are in literature and critical studies; she is also a performing soprano, making for an interesting and quite striking list of accomplishments. This collection documents the product of the three Boston seasons and includes some earlier music.

American Record Guide Full review
[CD Review] CLOFO reviews Lisa Bielawa: In Media Res


Classical Lost and Found Full review
[CD Review] Composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa's solo and orchestral music on 2-cd set

Composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa’s solo and orchestral music will be released as a 2-CD set entitled In medias res by BMOP/sound in June 2010. Performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), conducted by Artistic Director Gil Rose, the first disc, an SACD, includes four orchestral works: Roam (2001); Double Violin Concerto (2008) featuring violinist/vocalist Carla Kihlstedt and violinist Colin Jacobsen; unfinish’d, sent (2000) featuring the composer as soprano soloist; and In medias res, Concerto for Orchestra(2009).

Interchanging Idioms Full review
[Press Release] BMOP/sound releases Lisa Bielawa: In medias res

Composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa's solo and orchestral music will be released as a 2-CD set entitled In medias res by BMOP/sound in June 2010. Performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), conducted by Artistic Director Gil Rose, the first disc, an SACD, includes four orchestral works: Roam (2001); Double Violin Concerto (2008) featuring violinist/vocalist Carla Kihlstedt and violinist Colin Jacobsen; unfinish’d, sent (2000) featuring the composer as soprano soloist; and In medias res, concerto for orchestra (2009).

BMOP Full review
[Concert Review] With orchestral offerings, festival passes a milestone

The MATA Festival is celebrating its 10th season, partly by showing off how far it has come since its early days as Music at the Anthology, a new-music series resident at the Anthology Film Archives. Since the Anthology days the festival has traveled a circuit of churches and small halls, but for the last couple of years it has been ensconced at the Brooklyn Lyceum, an old public bath converted into a concert hall.

The New York Times Full review
[Concert Review] Star quality

In the Times, Allan Kozinn provided a typically sagacious and deftly written account of the first major concert of the MATA—Young Composers Now! series at the Brooklyn Lyceum (on April 1). The concert closed with the New York premiere of Lisa Bielawa’s Double Violin Concerto, which was played with saintly elegance by Carla Kihlstedt and Colin Jacobsen, backed by Gil Rose and the excellent Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

The New Yorker, Goings On Blog Full review
[Concert Review] Five things about BMOP @ MATA

I caught the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) at the MATA Festival Tuesday night in Brooklyn.

1. Gil Rose and BMOP played a varied concert with conviction and panache Tuesday night. While there were wonderful soloists on the program, the ensemble really held the spotlight the entire night in the best possible sense - always blending well and making the most of lines, accompaniment and ensemble.

Sequenza21 Full review
[Concert Review] For modern orchestra, a night of premieres

Four world premieres in one night is ambitious even by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s standards, but Saturday’s novelty at Jordan Hall was also an old-fashioned Boston tryout for a New York opening: This week, conductor Gil Rose and the group bring the program to Brooklyn’s MATA Festival, an annual new-music showcase previously run by BMOP’s current composer-in-residence, Lisa Bielawa.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] Bielawa, BMOP: performance provocateurs

On Saturday night the New England Conservatory’s teal and gilt Jordan Hall enjoyed the premiere of no fewer than four new works by living, breathing composers and performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which parties where symphony orchestras fear to tread. Bucking both contemporary and traditional expectations, provoking appreciation and conversation, this was a night of risks that paid off handsomely.

The Boston Herald Full review
[Interview] A handful of world

That’s the title of Lisa Bielawa’s impressive debut CD. Long known as a singer in Philip Glass’s ensemble, she is now making her mark as a composer, one expansive collaboration at a time.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Press Release] BMOP celebrates musical collaborations in its Double Entendre concert

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation's leading orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing, commissioning, and recording new music of the 21st century, honors some of its long-standing cherished collaborations in a special Double Entendre concert at Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough Street), Saturday, March 29th @ 8:00pm.

Full review
[Press Release] BMOP 07|08

BMOP's 11th season features Gil Rose's innovative programming, pairing 20th-century mavericks with today's foremost composers and performers.

World Premieres
Lisa Bielawa, Composer in Residence
Martin Boykan
Michael Colgrass
Derek Hurst
David Rakowski
Alejandro Rutty
Ezra Sims
Ken Ueno

Featured Guests
Firebird Ensemble
Colin Jacobsen
Kim Kashkashian
Carla Kihlstedt
Joanne Kong
Marilyn Nonken

Club Concerts
BMOP returns to downtown Boston, featuring new works by Lisa Bielawa composed in residence for solo artists.

Full review
[Press Release] Composer in Residence, Lisa Bielawa

BMOP is proud to announce that New York-based composer Lisa Bielawa will be in residence for three yeas beginning in October 2006. BMOP was one of six orchestras nation-wide selected for an extended Music Alive residency, a program of Meet the Composer and the American Symphony Orchestra League.

Full review
[Press Release] BMOP announces 10th anniversary season

BMOP announces that its 10th anniversary season will open on November 3, 2006 at Jordan Hall. For 10 years BMOP has been Boston's only orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing and recording new music. Led by founding Artistic Director Gil Rose, BMOP is considered to be the premier orchestra for new music in the country.

Full review