Five Fast Facts: Paul Jacobs 

March 25, 2021
Paul Jacobs
Profile of Paul playing the organ

Photo by Athena Ortmann


Paul Jacobs is the only organist ever to have won a Grammy Award. In 2011, he won for Messiaen’s towering Livre du Saint-Sacrément.

Paul Jacobs plays the organ on stage in front of a full orchestra.

Photo by Roger Mastroianni, courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra


Jacobs made musical history at the age of 23 when he gave an 18-hour marathon performance of Bach’s complete organ works on the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death.

Sitting with his back to the keys of the organ, a bright aqua light on the walls behind


Prodigiously talented from his earliest years, at 15 years old Jacobs was appointed head organist of a parish of 3,500 in his hometown of Washington, Pennsylvania.

Paul wearing glasses playing the organ


This is the second time Paul Jacobs will be performing at Northrop. He thrilled audiences in 2018 with the debut of a piece co-commissioned with the Minnesota Orchestra for the inaugural performance of Northrop’s restored organ.

Aerial view of Paul playing the organ in front of a full orchestra


Jacobs has performed to great critical acclaim on five continents and in each of the fifty United States. He has even played an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert.