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Bil Jackson

Associate Professor of Clarinet

Bil Jackson has been acclaimed as one of the premier clarinetists of our time, his playing being described as “beautifully inspired artistry” (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times). Currently Jackson is Associate Professor of Clarinet at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University.  He began his musical career with the Honolulu Symphony as principal clarinetist at age 19 and was the only person to win the International Clarinet Competition twice. Jackson enjoys a varied musical profession that includes solo, orchestral and chamber music appearances. Before joining the faculty at Blair, Jackson 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, St. Paul Chamber, Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras. He has also served on the Artist-Faculty of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, is Artist-Faculty Emeritus of the Aspen Music Festival and has served on the faculties of the University of Texas, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado and Duquesne University.

An avid chamber music performer, Jackson has been a guest artist with the chamber music festival of Music from Angel Fire, Camerata Pacifica, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Chamber Music Unbound, Bravo! Colorado, Sunflower, Chamber Music Northwest,  Festival St. Bart’s, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Chamber Music Sedona, Strings in the Mountains Festival and the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. He has collaborated with musicians including David Shifrin, Ida Kavafian, Joshua Bell, Stephen Hough, Paquito D’Rivera, Awadagin Pratt, Anne Marie McDermott, Eugenia Zukerman, Steve Prutsman, Pamela Frank, Ransom Wilson, Sharon Isbin, Robert McDuffie, Toby Appel, Bill Douglas, Tokyo String Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, American String Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Miro Quartet and the Miami String Quartet. 

Jackson commissioned and premiered Dan Welcher’s Clarinet Concerto, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and later recorded Welcher’s concerto for the Naxos label with the Honolulu Symphony. He premiered Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts’ clarinet concerto, written for Jackson, during the 2008-09 Colorado Symphony season, with Jeff Kahane conducting. In addition, he performed the Puts concerto via a live NPR national broadcast from the Aspen Music Festival’s 2010 summer season and subsequently recorded the concerto in February 2015 with the Colorado Symphony with Andrew Litton conducting. The recording will be released in fall 2019. Additionally, Jackson will record the clarinet music of composer Lowell Liebermann fall of 2020 for Naxos.

Jackson is sponsored by the Backun clarinet, Behn mouthpiece and Legere reed corporations.


Blair Woodwind Quintet