Sir Nicholas Jackson has pursued a career of an organist, harpsichordist and composer. Initially it was thought that he might follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Sir T.G. Jackson Bt., architect of many buildings in Oxford including the Bridge of Sighs and the Examination Schools. Jackson was taken abroad on sketching tours to study architecture, and as a boy at Radley College, won a competition with a design for a theatre. However, on gaining an Organ Scholarship to Wadham College, Oxford, he read music and was a pupil of Edmund Rubbra. Later at the Royal Academy of Music he became an organ pupil of C.H. Trevor, learnt the harpsichord with George Malcolm and was a composition student of John Gardner. He then completed his organ and harpsichord studies in Amsterdam with Gustav Leonhardt and received conducting lessons from Sir Adrian Boult.
Jackson’s compositions are written in a modern-romantic idiom admitting to the influences of Duruflé, Langlais and Messiaen. Besides the music on this recording, Nicholas Jackson’s compositions include a quantity of organ and choral works, music for trumpet and organ (recorded for Naxos with Maurice Murphy, trumpet), An English Requiem, and two operas, The Reluctant Highwayman (produced by Broomhill Opera) and The Rose and the Ring (2014) adapting Scarlatti’s sonatas. Nicholas Jackson made his debut at the Wigmore Hall as a harpsichordist playing four Bach concertos with his own chamber orchestra, which subsequently recorded for RCA and thereafter performed
frequently at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and elsewhere in London. In 1971 he became organist at St. James’s Piccadilly, then at St. Lawrence Jewry-next-Guildhall in London before becoming Organist and Master of the Choristers at St. Davids Cathedral in Wales.
As an organ recitalist he has regularly toured the USA, France, Germany, Spain and Croatia performing at Notre-Dame, Paris, the Royal Festival Hall and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and at the Teatro Real in Madrid. He has frequently toured Spain giving trumpet and organ recitals with Maurice Murphy and Crispian Steele-Perkins, and as harpsichordist with the London Virtuosi. He also directed a Bach Festival at the Monastery of Santes Creus in Catalunia. Nicholas Jackson has made over thirty recordings including four of his own works.
Nicholas Jackson is Director of Concertante of London, a baroque ensemble including the cream of young London based musicians performing on authentic baroque instruments. Together they have appeared at The Banqueting House, Whitehall, Kings Place and the Handel House Museum in London. This ensemble has also recorded Jackson’s realisation of Bach’s A Musical Offering.
Sir Nicholas’s edition of his grandfather’s, Recollections, is published by Unicorn Press and he regularly is invited to give lectures on his grandfather’s work in England, Croatia and Italy.
Sir Nicholas Jackson was Master of the Drapers’ Company (1994-95). He founded their annual series of concerts in 1995 which he continues to direct. In 1996 he was made an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford.