Bil Jackson, in his sixth year as Associate Professor of clarinet at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, enjoys a varied musical career that includes solo, orchestral and chamber music appearances. Before joining the faculty at the Blair School Mr. Jackson served as principal clarinetist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony and has performed as guest principal clarinetist with the St Louis, St. Paul Chamber, Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Cincinnati symphony orchestras. He also has appeared as a soloist with the Colorado, Honolulu, Denver, Charlotte, Dallas Chamber, and Aspen Chamber orchestras.
Mr. Jackson taught at the Aspen Music Festival for 34 years and retired as Artist Faculty Emeritus in 2016. He has previously served on the faculties of the University of Texas, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado and Duquesne University. Mr. Jackson studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he won the IAA’s concerto competition three years in a row and was awarded the gold medal for superlative musicianship upon graduation. Mr. Jackson is the only person to win the International Clarinet Competition twice and he was a finalist in the Prague International Clarinet Competition. Mr. Jackson began his orchestral career with the Honolulu Symphony as principal clarinetist at the age of 19.
Mr. Jackson currently performs recitals and presents master classes throughout the United States and abroad. Bil will be featured at the 2016 International Clarinet convention in August performing the Weber clarinet quintet with the Miro Quartet and will perform a recital tour to Japan, Korea and China in late October. Mr. Jackson has presented master classes at the Yale, Shepherd School, Northwestern, Manhattan, Eastman, and Colburn schools of music. Mr. Jackson premiered a trio composed by Lowell Liebermann at the Tucson Chamber Music Festival which was recorded and released on CD. In March 2017 Mr. Jackson will present at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, an International Clarinet Symposium and solo competition sponsored by Backun Musical Services. This symposium will feature prominent clarinet guest artists from around the world in addition to a world class clarinet competition for high school and .
Mr. Jackson commissioned, and premiered with the Honolulu Symphony, Dan Welcher’s clarinet concerto which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music. He subsequently returned to the Honolulu Symphony to record the concerto for the Naxos label. During the 2008-2009 Colorado Symphony season, Bil premiered 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts’ clarinet concerto, also written for him with Jeffrey Kahane conducting. Additionally, he performed the Puts concerto via a live NPR national broadcast from the Aspen Music Festival’s 2010 season. Mr. Jackson recorded the Kevins’ concerto with the Colorado Symphony with Andrew Litton conducting.
Mr. Jackson teams with pianist Bill Douglas to present concerts that synthesize jazz, classical, and contemporary formats. Together they record for the Hearts of Space label. Mr. Jackson’s chamber music affiliations have included performances-collaborations with: David Shifrin, Ida Kavafian, Jeffery Kahane, Cho-Liang Lin, Peter Wiley, Emanuel Ax, Jon Kimura Parker, Milan Turkovic, Stephen Hough, Awadagin Pratt, Anne Marie McDermott, Eugenia Zukerman, Steve Prutsman, Pamela Frank, Ransom Wilson, Sharon Isbin, Toby Appel, Bill Douglas, Tokyo String Quartet, Shanghai String Quartet, American String Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Miro Quartet and the Miami String Quartet.
Additionally, Mr. Jackson is a guest artist with the Music from Angel Fire, Camerata Pacifica, Chamber Music Unbound, Bravo! Colorado, Chamber Music Northwest, Arizona friends of Chamber Music, Strings in the Mountains and Sunflower chamber music festivals. Mr. Jackson has also toured with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and the Australian Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Jackson is sponsored by Backun Musical and Legere corporations.