Gordon Jacob was one of the most prolific English composers. He was one of the representatives of the generation that was battling the Great War in 1914. Rehabilitation ultimately came when a grant allowed him to study at the Royal College of Music in London with Stanford, Howells, and Boult as his teachers. As an instructor, he quickly became a respected figure. He was on the Royal College of Music staff for forty years and taught orchestration and composition.
Among his several publications, his orchestral textbook became a regular work. Jacob's works include two symphonies, other orchestral and chamber compositions, songs and part-songs, music for the band, and music for video. Old radio audiences would also note that Tommy Handley and many other comedians collaborated on the much-loved series It is That Guy Again. The characteristic of Jacob's performance is that he searched out for strategies that needed further growth. He composed many works for less-favored instruments such as the trombone, bassoon, cor anglais, and double bass. He happily acceded to a new opportunity. Beethoven composed two piano concertos (three hands) for Phyllis Sellick and Cyril Smith. After listening to the outstanding performances of Tommy Reilly on the harmonica, Gordon was encouraged to write some of the most exciting pieces for the musician.
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