Bernard Jacobsen (right) with Andrzej Panufnik

London-born Bernard Jacobsen was a long-time contributor to MusicWeb International (where a 2006 biography can be found by clicking here), as well as Seen and Heard International and we are deeply saddened by news of his passing. We send our condolesences to his wife Laura and their family in the hope they will remember all the happier times with Bernard during these sad days.  An announcement on Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc was as follows:

‘We have been notified of the death of Bernard Jacobson, who was Riccardo Muti’s programming brain during eight years at the Philadelphia Orchestra and engaged in a buzz of criticism besides. Bernard was 85 and had been suffering various ailments.

His title at the Philadelphia Orchestra was “program annotator and musicologist” but he did much else, founding a chamber music series and acting as a sounding board for the music director.

He also wrote a study of the Polish composers Panufnik, Lutoslawski, Penderecki, and Górecki for a series that I edited at Phaidon Press, translated operas by Henze and Matthus and appeared on a Deutsche Grammophon recording as Noah in Stravinsky’s The Flood, conducted by Oliver Knussen.’

1 thought on “R.I.P. BERNARD JACOBSON (1936-2022)”

  1. I was fortunate enough to take Bernard’s course The Practice of Music Criticism in Chicago in 1972. His erudition was intimidating, although he never used it aggressively. I learned so much from him in that one course! A great loss to the profession.


Leave a Comment