A cellist and conductor, Jacobsen, 32, is known for out-of-the-box programming and genre-bending chamber music.
Founder of the eclectic string quartet Brooklyn Rider and the young indie orchestra The Knights, Jacobsen is in demand as a guest conductor for orchestras such as the Camerata Bern and the Detroit Symphony.
He’s collaborated with cellist Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, violinist Itzhak Perlman and soprano Dawn Upshaw, with a Midori concert coming up.
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Based in Brooklyn, he teaches at New York University.
His first concert with the Northwest Sinfonietta will be in May, playing Beethoven and Mendelssohn. His two programs next season will include a Schubert-Feldman evening in November and a performance of Richard Strauss in May 2016.
Q: What do you like about the artistic partner model?
A: There’s no one model for all orchestras. Every one is different. But this model is ideal because it has more ownership and artistic leadership from the group.
Q: What do you focus on with the sound of an orchestra?
A: The sound comes both from the players and the artistic vision of the concert.
I’m so excited to come to the Northwest and work with the Sinfonietta. We’ll play Beethoven together, kind of “smell” each other, then figure out what our next steps are.
I’m very keen on developing sound, it’s what I grew up in with my father, a violinist in the Met Opera, and a teacher who lived in the era of Toscanini. ...
So I’ll be working with the strings, and taking leadership from the winds and finding a way to match the sound or embrace the difference.
Q: Tell us about your choice of programs.
A: For the November concert, it’s a concept I’ve always talked about: If Glass, Adams and Feldman created minimalism, and Satie was the father of it, then Schubert was the grandfather.
He builds an entire piece out of a major third. He’s so sparse, so brilliant that he creates an entire universe with a grain of sand. Feldman saw him as a great influence, so this is a concert of homage.
Q: What will you bring to the Sinfonietta that’s different from the other partners?
A: Humbly, I hope I can bring a continued exploration of chamber music in an orchestral setting. That’s where I come from, that’s one of the most important things. I look forward to meeting them and I hope I can learn quite a bit from it, and bring my colleagues, musicians and heroes to the Seattle area.
And I’m an insane coffee snob, so I’m looking forward to frequenting all the great coffee and food shops.