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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

René Jacobs
Rene Jacobs 2011.jpg
René Jacobs in Salzburg 2011
Born (1946-10-30) 30 October 1946 (age 75)
Ghent, Belgium
OccupationCountertenor and conductor

René Jacobs (born 30 October 1946) is a Belgian musician. He came to fame as a countertenor, but later in his career he became known as a conductor of baroque and classical opera.



Born in Ghent, Jacobs began his musical career as a boy chorister at the Cathedral. Later he studied classical philology at the University of Ghent while continuing to sing in Brussels and in The Hague.

The Kuijken brothers, Gustav Leonhardt and Alfred Deller all encouraged him to pursue a career as a countertenor, and he quickly became known as one of the best of his time.[1] He recorded a large amount of less-known Baroque music by such composers as Antonio Cesti, d'India, Ferrari, Marenzio, Lambert, Guédron, William Lawes and others. He also sang in much-acclaimed recordings of the major works of Bach (such as the St Matthew Passion led by Gustav Leonhardt and Philippe Herreweghe).


In 1977, he founded the ensemble Concerto Vocale.

As a conductor, Jacobs recorded numerous operas and sacred and secular works of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. His recording of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro is especially renowned, having won such awards as Gramophone 's Record of the Year for 2004, Le Monde de la musique 's Choc of the Year for 2004, a Grammy Award for "Best Opera recording of 2005", and two Midem Classical Awards in 2004. Other award-winning recordings include George Frideric Handel's Rinaldo (Cannes Classical Award, 2004), and Joseph Haydn's The Seasons (Diapason d’Or of 2005). The partial discography below lists some of the many other awards won by Jacobs' recordings.

His recordings and work have won numerous awards, including the Grammy Award for "Best Opera", Gramophone 's "Record of the Year", the "III Premio Traetta 2011", and numerous European awards. His recording of Mozart's The Magic Flute was Record of the Year at the inaugural International Classical Music Awards in April 2011.

He is particularly noted as a singer's conductor, and for his handling of recitative.[2]

Jacobs regularly conducted such orchestras and ensembles as the Concerto Köln, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Freiburger Barockorchester, Nederlands Kamerkoor and RIAS Kammerchor for recordings and concert tours. In 1992, the Berlin State Opera invited Jacobs to conduct there.

From 1991 to 2009, Jacobs was the artistic director of opera programs at Innsbruck's Festwochen der Alten Musik (Innsbruck Festival of Early Music). He also taught interpretation and Baroque singing style at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

Partial discography




  • Jozef Robijns en Miep Zijlstra, Algemene Muziek Encyclopedie deel 5, Unieboek 1981, pagina 36
  • Kennedy, Michael (2006), The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 985 pages, ISBN 0-19-861459-4
  • Nicolas Blanmont, René Jacobs, prima la musica, prime le parole, uitgave Versant Sud (2009)
  • René Jacobs im Gespräch mit Silke Leopold: "Ich will Musik neu erzählen", Bärenreiter Henschel, Kassel 2013, ISBN 978-3-89487-910-5.


  1. ^ "Harmonia Mundi Biography". Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  2. ^ International record review 2 2001 "If Rene Jacobs has one overriding talent as a conductor, then it is the ability to coach his singers to breathe life into recitatives. They do so magnificently in both operas, with marvellous performances from Judith Nelson and Isabelle Poulenard"
This page was last edited on 22 August 2021, at 05:52
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