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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Premier Organist Paul Jacobs Returns To Pacific Symphony For A Special Recital Featuring Music By J.S. Bach And Franz Liszt, Performed On The William J. Gillespie Concert Organ

Orange, CA — December 14, 2017

The awe-inspiring forces of the William J. Gillespie concert organ combine with the extraordinary talent of Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs—called a “brilliant young organist and evangelist for the instrument” by The New York Times—for a one-night-only concert. The program of virtuosic organ music includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach—including his ever-popular “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”—and Franz Liszt, whose mighty “Fantasy and Fugue on Ad nos, ad salutarem undam” is sure to thrill. After a recent concert by Jacobs, The New Yorker’s Alex Ross wrote: “An obliterating performance by one of the major musicians of our time.” The Economist calls him “America’s leading organ performer.”

For this recital, the audience will enjoy image magnification on the big screens for a closer look at Jacobs as he plays the 30-ton, four-stories tall, one-of-a-kind and three-years-in-the-making William J. Gillespie Concert Organ. “Superstar Organist: Paul Jacobs” takes place Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, at 7 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets for this “Pedals and Pipes” concert are $10-$50. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“It has been deeply rewarding to have established a longstanding relationship—a friendship, in fact—with Pacific Symphony,” says the evening’s organist, Jacobs, “one stretching back to the first performances on the William J. Gillespie Organ with Pacific Symphony in 2008, and most recently at the American Composers Festival with Music Director Carl St.Clair. The Gillespie organ is one of the finest concert-hall organs in the United States. It’s such a pleasure to play it, especially since it resides in the midst of such excellent acoustics.”

 Jacobs recalls: “My musical studies began with piano lessons at age 5, to which organ lessons were added when I was tall enough to reach the pedals, around age 11. The kaleidoscopic array of color and vast dynamic range of the instrument—not to mention its physical complexity—attracted me to it.”

For the Symphony’s concert, Jacobs tackles works by the illustrious composers Bach and Liszt—leaving no lingering questions as to why the organ is the “King of Instruments,” or why Jacobs is widely revered. Jacobs says: “Bach was called by Max Reger [German composer, pianist, organist, conductor, and academic teacher] ‘the Alpha and Omega of music,’ and he’s certainly the greatest composer for the organ. I never tire of playing or hearing Bach. His music uplifts my soul every day; I can’t imagine a day without him.”

Sharing the stage with Bach is Liszt. “While I often think of Liszt as the quintessential pianist,” says Jacobs, “he also possessed a considerable interest in the organ, leaving to posterity an impressive body of music for the instrument. I’ve programmed his spectacular ‘Fantasy and Fugue on Ad nos, ad salutarem undam,’ his largest work for organ—some 30 minutes in length—composed around the same time as the B-minor piano sonata.”