Edward Jacobs (b. 1961) is an acclaimed composer and accomplished educator whose music the American Academy of Arts & Letters described as “immediately engaging, attractive, and intellectually demanding” upon presenting him with the Charles Ives Award in 2005. Jacobs (b. 1961, Brookline, MA) began playing violin at age eight, but was drawn to the saxophone at age eleven upon hearing a friend's jazz quartet. Work at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (B.A., 1984) in jazz performance and arranging (Jeff Holmes) and composition (Sal Macchia, Robert Stern) was followed by study in composition (Andrew Imbrie, Olly Wilson, Gerard Grisey) and conducting (Michael Senturia) at the University of California, Berkeley (M.A., 1986) and at Columbia University (composition with Chou Wen-Chung, Mario Davidovsky, Marty Boykan, George Edwards; conducting with George Rothman) where he completed his D.M.A. in 1993.
In 2001 Jacobs began to explore electronic media. He has since written works for computer-generated sound with voice (The Line Between, 2011), piano (echoes, shadows, 2008), clarinet (A Function of Memory, 2001, Beauty Shop, 2005), with cello (al momento, 2002), and for dancers (dis/Connect, 2004). His music is published by ACA, C. F. Peters Corp., and APNM.
Jacobs began teaching at East Carolina University, in Greenville, NC in 1998, and received a Teacher-Scholar Award in 2004. He founded and directs the NC NewMusic Initiative and has worked in the Pitt County Public Schools, collaborating with middle school general music teachers in his “Composers-in-Public Schools Project”, a program that strives to make the creation of music a fundamental part of childrens’ education.