Eric Jacobsen

Music Director

Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist ERIC JACOBSEN has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative projects. As co-founder and Artistic Director of the adventurous orchestra The Knights, Jacobsen, along with his brother, violinist Colin Jacobsen, was awarded a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship.

Mr. Jacobsen is in his fourth year as the Music Director for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. He has already started a new trend in creative programing and community engagement that has engaged a wider audience. In 2016 Mr. Jacobsen stepped down from his position as cellist in the genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider to focus more on his role as conductor and Music Director. The Orlando Philharmonic is building both in size and scope, and this year celebrates its 26th Season as a great city arts organization. The 2018-19 Season evokes ideas and themes of The Silk Road Ensemble, of which Jacobsen is a member. There is much to look forward too including the opening of the long anticipated Steinmetz Hall, which will be the new home of the Philharmonic.

Jacobsen founded The Knights with his brother, Colin, to foster the intimacy and camaraderie of chamber music on the orchestral stage; as the New Yorker reports, “few ensembles are as adept at mixing old music with new as the dynamic young Brooklyn orchestra.” As Music Director, Jacobsen has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (The New York Times) at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Ojai Music Festival, and international hot spots such as the Dresden Musikfestspiele, and the Cologne Philharmonie. Recent collaborators include cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Jan Vogler, violinists Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham, and singers Dawn Upshaw and Susan Graham, Anne Sofie von Otter and pianist Emanuel Ax and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Under Jacobsen’s baton, The Knights have an extensive recording collection that includes Azul, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the ground beneath our feet, on Warner Classics; Grammy nominated Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 with Gil Shaham on Canary; three albums for Sony Classical —  Jan Vogler and The Knights Experience: Live from New York, and all-Beethoven album, and New Worlds; and the “smartly programmed” (NPRA Second in Silence on the Ancalagon label. We Are The Knights, a documentary film produced by Thirteen/WNET, premiered in September 2011.

In demand as a guest conductor, Jacobsen has led or will lead Camerata Bern, the symphonies Alabama, Baltimore, Detroit, Virginia, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Philharmonie Merck, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, and Silk Road Ensemble. Jacobsen also tours with The Knights in the U.S. and Europe. He is also an Artistic Partner of the Northwest Sinfonietta and Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony.

A dedicated chamber musician, Jacobsen is a member of the venerated Silk Road Ensemble and is a founding member of Brooklyn Rider. With these groups he has taken part in a wealth of world premieres and toured extensively in North America, Europe, and Asia.

For more information on Eric and his upcoming engagements, please visit his website at

Send this to a friend