The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is saddened by the loss of
retired principal tuba and eminent pedagogue Arnold
Jacobs, who died on October 7, 1998, at the age of 83.
"One can hardly overstate the importance of Arnold
Jacobs as a musician and as a teacher," CSO
President Henry Fogel said in a written statement. "His
musical abilities were rightly the stuff of legend, and
served for over four decades as the foundation of the
brass section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As a
teacher, he had an impact on generations of brass players
that is almost certainly unequalled by anyone else."
The CSO's subscription concerts on October 21, 22, 23,
and 24 at Orchestra Hall were dedicated to his memory.
The life of the late former CSO Principal Tuba
Arnold Jacobs will be celebrated with A Tribute
to Arnold Jacobs at Orchestra Hall at Symphony
Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, on Thursday,
December 17 at 5 p.m. The Symphony Center tribute will
feature performances by the CSO Trombone and Tuba
Ensemble; the CSO brass section, led by CSO Principal
Trumpet Adolph "Bud" Herseth; and the
Northwestern University Faculty Brass Quintet. Audience
members will also hear an archival recording of Mr.
Jacobs performing the slow movement of Vaughan Williams'
Tuba Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,
accompanied by photographs. The musical celebration will
conclude with a joint performance by members of the CSO
and Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra; Northwestern
University faculty members; and others, led by CSO Music
Director Daniel Barenboim.
Following the tribute, a reception will be held in the
Symphony Center Rotunda for all audience members. Memory
books will be made available at the performance and
reception for members of the general public who wish to
write a personal message to the Jacobs family.
Admission to A Tribute to
Arnold Jacobs and the reception will be
free. Tickets are not required. For more
information about this event, members of the general
public should call (312) 294-3000.
A native of Philadelphia, Arnold Jacobs
was raised in California. After taking piano lessons from
his mother, whom he credited with his love of music, he
went on to study the trumpet, bugle, and trombone. At the
age of fifteen, he entered the Curtis Institute of Music
on scholarship, studying with Philip Donatelli and Fritz
Reiner. After graduation in 1937, he played in the
Indianapolis Symphony for two seasons, and from 1939
until 1944, he was tubist for the Pittsburgh Symphony
under Fritz Reiner.
In 1944, Jacobs joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,
where he remained until his retirement in 1988. He
appeared as soloist with the Orchestra on numerous
occasions. His recordings with the CSO include Vaughan
Williams's Tuba Concerto, conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
A 1978 performance of the same work, conducted by Henry
Mazer, was released in conjunction with Radiothon 12 on From
the Archives, vol. 2. In addition, he was a founding
member of the Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet.
Internationally recognized as an educator, Arnold Jacobs
taught tuba at Northwestern University for more than
twenty years and gave master classes and lectured at
clinics all over the world. He was especially known for
his ability to motivate and inspire brass players and
singers by teaching new breathing techniques. Many
leading brass and woodwind players considered him the
greatest tubist in the world. A biography, Arnold Jacobs:
Song and Wind, by his assistant Brian Frederiksen, was
published in 1996 by WindSong Press Limited.
Jacobs's honors included the highest award from the
second International Brass Congress (1984) and honorary
doctor of music degrees from VanderCook College of Music
and DePaul University. He was an active member of the
Chicago Symphony Alumni Association and attended several
reunions. Arnold Jacobs recently appeared with members of
the Chicago Symphony at the fiftieth anniversary concert
for Adolph (Bud) Herseth on June 7, 1998, performing
works by Gabrieli with other guest musicians.