by Michael Shapiro

Eric Jacobsen

On a recent INTERPLAY, Conversations in Music, I spoke to conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen, Music Director of The Knights (which he co-founded with his equally gifted brother, the violinist Colin Jacobsen, concertmaster of The Knights, and a member of Brooklyn Rider, the extraordinary string quartet), Virginia Symphony and Orlando Philharmonic, .

I find Eric’s approach and execution of everything he touches simply miraculous. My first live encounter was with him conducting Brahms Second Symphony with the Westchester Philharmonic. It’s a piece I know very well, all my life, have conducted it, and marveled at the tapestry of sound. But Eric’s recreation of the work was totally fresh, as if it was composed just for him. Therefore, the miracle of his conducting in sunny D Major!

Eric believes that making music today is not just leading a “cover band.” Too many symphonic concerts have been about grinding out the tried and familiar. His music making asks the questions, why not this and let’s try that. The spontaneity is breathtaking. And he loves new music — and that shows in every phrase he turns.

Please listen in to our talk on Apple Podcast at


Or watch the conversation on YouTube on my channel at

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Michael Shapiro’s over 100 compositions are performed throughout the
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