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Bil Jackson

Associate Professor of Clarinet

Bil Jackson, Associate Professor of Clarinet, enjoys a varied musical career that includes solo, orchestral and chamber music appearances. Before joining the faculty at the Blair School Jackson served as principal clarinetist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Honolulu Symphony. He 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 also has appeared as a soloist with the Colorado, Honolulu, Denver, Charlotte, Dallas Chamber, and Aspen Chamber orchestras.

Jackson is Artist-Faculty Emeritus of the Aspen Music Festival, where he taught for 34 years. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Texas, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado and Duquesne University. Jackson studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he won the IAA’s concerto competition three years in a row and was awarded the gold medal for superlative musicianship upon 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 began his orchestral career with the Honolulu Symphony as principal clarinetist at the age of 20.

Jackson currently performs recitals and presents master classes throughout the United States and abroad. He has been featured at several International Clarinet Association conventions, most recently in August 2016 performing the Weber clarinet quintet with the Miro Quartet. In the United States, Jackson has presented master classes at Yale, Shepherd School, Northwestern, Manhattan, Eastman and Colburn.

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 2008-09 Colorado Symphony season, Jackson premiered Pulitzer winner Kevin Puts’ clarinet concerto, with Jeffrey Kahane conducting. He also performed the Puts concerto via a live NPR national broadcast from the Aspen Music Festival's 2010 season, and recorded it in February 2015 with the Colorado Symphony, Andrew Litton conducting. In March 2015, Jackson performed a world premiere of a trio composed by Lowell Liebermann at the Tuscon Chamber Music Festival.

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 have included performance 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, Jon-Kimura Parker, Sharon Isbin, Toby Appel, Bill Douglas, Tokyo String Quartet, Shanghai String Quartet, American String Quartet, Miro Quartet, Pacifica Quartet and the Miami String Quartet.

Jackson is a guest artist with the Music from Angel Fire, Camerata Pacifica, Chamber Music Unbound, Bravo! Colorado, Chamber Music Northwest, Arizona friends of Chamber Music, Strings in the Mountains and Sunflower chamber music festivals. He has also toured with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and the Australian Chamber Music Festival. Jackson is sponsored by the Backun and Legere corporations.

Jackson is available via the internet to interested prospective students for 30-minute introductory sessions.


Blair Woodwind Quintet