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Bil Jackson

Associate Professor of Clarinet, Vanderbilt University


Bil Jackson enjoys a varied musical career that includes solo, orchestral and chamber music appearances. Before joining the faculty at the Blair School, he served as principal clarinetist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Honolulu Symphony, and has performed as guest principal clarinetist with the St Louis, Minnesota and Cincinnati symphony orchestras. He also has appeared as a soloist with the Colorado, Honolulu, Denver, Charlotte, Dallas Chamber and Aspen Chamber orchestras.

Jackson is currently on the summer Artist-Faculties of the Aspen Music Festival and Colorado College Music Festival, and has previously served on the faculties of the University of Texas, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado and Duquesne University. Mr. Jackson studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he won the IAA’s concerto competition three times and was awarded the gold medal for superlative musicianship at graduation. He continued his formal study at Northwestern University with Robert Marcellus. Jackson is the only person to win the International Clarinet Competition twice, and he was a finalist in the Prague International Clarinet Competition.

Jackson currently performs recitals and presents master classes throughout the United States and abroad. In August of 2008 he was a featured artist at the Japan International Clarinet Festival. During the 2009-10 season he presented master classes at Northwestern, Manhattan, Eastman, and the Colburn schools of music. Events in the 2011-12 season included a residency in Medellin at the Medellin Festicamara, solo appearance and master classes in Tokyo/Yokohama, Tucson Chamber music festival and the Camerata Pacifica chamber music series based in Los Angeles/Santa Barbara.

Jackson commissioned, and premiered with the Honolulu Symphony, Dan Welcher’s Clarinet Concerto, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music. He subsequently returned to the Honolulu Symphony to record the concerto for the Naxos label. During the 2008-2009 Colorado Symphony season Bil premiered Kevin Puts’ clarinet concerto with Jeffrey Kahane conducting. Additionally he performed the Puts concerto via a live NPR national broadcast from the Aspen Music Festival's 2010 season. The Puts concerto is slated to be recorded for Naxos as a joint venture with the Baltimore Symphony, Marin Alsop conducting in April, 2012.

Jackson teams with pianist Bill Douglas to present concerts that synthesize jazz, classical, and contemporary formats. Together they record for the Hearts of Space label. Jackson’s chamber music affiliations include performances/collaborations with David Shifrin, Ida Kavafian, Jeffery Kahane, Cho-Liang Lin, Peter Wiley, Emanuel Ax, Jon Kimura Parker, Milan Turkovic, Stephen Hough, Awadagin Pratt, Anne Marie McDermott, Eugenia Zukerman, Steve Prutsman, Pamela Frank, Ransom Wilson, Sharon Isbin, Robert McDuffie, Toby Appel, Bill Douglas, American String Quartet, and the Miami String Quartet.

Additionally, Jackson is a guest artist with the Music from Angel Fire, Bravo! Colorado, Chamber Music Northwest, Chamber Music Unbound and Sunflower chamber music festivals and has toured with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and the Australian Chamber Music Festival.

Photo Credit: Nathan Garfinkel

Instruments Used

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