"Jacobs threw out just about every stop on the organ console with his turbocharged reading..." - John von Rhein, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, May 12, 2018

"The soloist, Paul Jacobs, drew some uncanny sounds — church bells! — from the Severance Hall organ, and managed to shape the music into something nearly coherent." - Liszt's "Ad nos..." Fantasy and Fugue with the Cleveland Orchestra, THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 4, 2018

"...[Jacobs] finished off the evening with perhaps the most lucid reading you’ll ever hear of Franz Liszt’s Fantasy and Fugue on the Huguenot chorale “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam” from Giacomo Meyerbeer’s opera Le prophète.

Masterfully mixing the registers of the E.M. Skinner organ and making subtle stop changes as the piece went on, Jacobs finally shifted into overdrive, and flicking a fingernail across the organ’s row of coupler tabs to command its full power, brought Liszt’s fantasy to an exultant conclusion." - Fantasy and Fugue by Liszt with the Cleveland Orchestra, CLEVELAND CLASSICAL, May 1, 2018

"Still, if anything pushed Saturday over the top, near the "ecstatic" realm, it was the presence at night's end of organist Paul Jacobs. Playing the Norton Memorial Organ (with pipes partially exposed by the set of "Tristan and Isolde"), the virtuoso held the house in the palm of his hand with an epic Fantasy and Fugue by Liszt...

...Amazingly, Jacobs didn't stop there. Shortly after applause began, the artist hushed his already won-over crowd anew with the fugue from Bach's Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 532. The word for that? Marvelous." - Fantasy and Fugue by Liszt with the Cleveland Orchestra, THE PLAIN DEALER, April 30, 2018

"Jacobs thoughtfully colored and shaped the music’s numerous descriptive effects with expressive precision that brought out the music’s natural wit, but more important, its purpose... ...If this was musical stand-up comedy, then Jacobs beautifully articulated and shaped the jokes but didn’t punch them so hard that they lost their inner humanity. Or animal impulsiveness." - James MacMillan's Scotch Bestiary with the Philadelphia Orchestra, THE INQUIRER January 12, 2018

"Paul Jacobs was cooly and totally in control of his solo role, efficiently changing registrations both by presets and quick, elegant stop pulling and retiring. His choice of combinations created fine balances with the ensemble, and his sensitive manipulation of the instrument’s swell shades helped meld the sound of the organ with the orchestra. His tireless repetition of toccata figures propelled the final movement, and his flawless pedal solos added flair to the performance."Grand Concerto for Solo Organ and Orchestra by Stephen Paulus with Giancarlo Guerrero and the Cleveland Orchestra, CLEVELAND CLASSICAL, November 27, 2017

"To the aptly labeled finale Jacobs brought all his considerable virtuosity and zeal to bear, delivering a sparkling performance, especially at the pedals, that thrilled in both visceral and artistic terms."Grand Concerto for Solo Organ and Orchestra by Stephen Paulus with Giancarlo Guerrero and the Cleveland Orchestra, THE PLAIN DEALER, November 27, 2017

"Organ soloist Paul Jacobs showed great taste and precision in accentuating and contrasting the instrument with the orchestra. Even though the cadenza is one of the quietest you’re likely to encounter, Jacobs made it speak with clarity." - Wayne Oquin's "Resilience" with the Philadelphia Orchestra, THE INQUIRER, October 7, 2017

"Jacobs was virtuosic: Oquin, watching from the audience near me, was on the edge of his seat." - Wayne Oquin's "Resilience" with the Philadelphia Orchestra, BACHTRACK, October 6, 2017

"The temptation with BWV 565 can be to blast the audience from start to finish with aggressive registration. It’s such an iconic work that some people are expecting organ bombast. Jacobs’ approach to registration for the Toccata was different: He tended to layer, adding stops one or two at a time to enhance or decrease the total effect of the rhapsodic runs and labored triplets. Though, much to our delight, the Toccata was not without drama. The diminished chords were complemented by timbrally gritty registration combinations that buzzed with tremendous energy and verve." - Bach at Oregon Bach Festival, THE REGISTER-GUARD, July 9, 2017

"Jacobs was astounding in his technique at both manuals and pedals—his orchestral registrations filling out the piece in a way that blended almost imperceptibly with the orchestra, supplying those missing woodwind sonorities." - Rouse Organ Concerto with the National Symphony, CHARLES T. DOWNEY WITH WASHINGTON CLASSICAL REVIEW, May 12, 2017

"Soloist Paul Jacobs had the piece thoroughly in hand (and feet), and rewarded us with a bustling Bach encore." - Rouse Concerto with the National Symphony, THE WASHINGTON POST, May 11, 2017

"...Jacobs showed breathtaking virtuosity in Daugherty’s Concerto. The interplay between orchestra and organ was electrifying, and highest praise goes to both performer and composer for a compelling and commanding musical trek. Jacobs returned in a sparkling solo encore of Bach’s Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29." - Daugherty's Concerto for Organ and Orchestra with the Toledo Symphony, TOLEDO BLADE, January 17, 2017

"Both in Saint-Saëns and Rouse, organist Jacobs delivered subtle shifts in sound that had an infallible sense of rightness with the music at hand. He also let it rip with a crisp, fast, high-virtuosity encore, Widor's "Toccata" from his Symphony No. 5. The audience was suitably wowed." - Christopher Rouse Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 with the Philadelphia Orchestra, THE INQUIRER, November 19, 2016

"Jacobs led by example, the organ nearly always at the forefront of the limited thematic material, layering, trading, and subverting lines in intricate fugal passages, emphasizing the instrument’s timbral variety. While the full throttle passages stunned, the softer moments — with the solo line sounding nearly magical, supported by tutti cellos, or the violins playing in sweet response to the organ’s thick, reedy tone — were the performance’s defining features." Alexander Guilmant’s Symphony No.1 for Organ and Orchestra with the Kansas City Symphony, THE KANSAS CITY STAR, October 22, 2016

"Whether interacting subtly with individual musicians or letting the organ rip in regal displays with the full ensemble, Jacobs displayed perfect senses of balance and registration in addition to technical fluidity and musical insight. Through often strange, winding, and unpredictable territory, the organist proved an assured and compelling guide, taking care to point out all the music's curious wonders." - Copland, and Bach with the Cleveland Orchestra, THE PLAIN DEALER, September 30, 2016

"At any rate, the Liszt work, based on a theme from Meyerbeer’s opera “Le Prophète,” offered almost as much to watch as to hear, with its virtuosic peregrinations over the keyboards and pedals. It was touching to see Mr. Jacobs use all his weight and force to squeeze every ounce of sound out of the grand final chord." - Liszt, Brahms, and Julien Reubke at the Juilliard School, THE NEW YORK TIMES, September 19, 2016

"Jacobs played the three-movement work with astounding virtuosity and convincing musicality." - Alexandre Guilmant's Symphony No. 1 for Organ and Orchestra with Lexington Philharmonic, LEXINGTON HERALD LEADER, May 14, 2016

"Jacobs' command of the Wurlitzer's resources was immaculate." - Alexandre Guilmant's Symphony No. 1 for Organ and Orchestra with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, JAY HARVEY, April 23, 2016

"Nowhere is this evident more than in Mozart’s K. 616 Andante, written for a mechanical organ that was essentially a toy, which Jacobs managed to make significant while completely conveying its slightly antic, slightly fey artlessness." - Mozart, Reger, and Bach at Kennedy Center Concert Hall, THE WASHINGTON POST, March 17, 2016

"Jacobs puts the Gesu’s large organ through its paces, with an especially virtuosic turn on Bach’s C major prelude and fugue (BWV 547) and colorful registrations for Nadia Boulanger’s “Trois Pièces pour Orgue” and Reger’s “Toccata and Fugue,” op. 59." - Divine Redeemer CD review, THE WASHINGTON POST, February 3, 2016

"Jacobs’ playing fairly pulsed with rhythmic energy... That Jacobs made the [Reger] piece a compelling experience was evident in the roaring, and well-deserved, ovation."   - Bach, Mozart, Guilmant and Reger recital w/ Dallas Symphony, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, June 6, 2015

“It was a fine thing to hear a world-class artist like Paul Jacobs performing in the context of an orchestral program in such a venue as Severance Hall.“   - Bach and Brahms w/ Cleveland Orchestra, CLEVELAND CLASSICAL, February 24, 2015

“It is no surprise that [JACOBS‘] execution is so clear that the significance of each individual movement is practically self-evident. While it is likely that most of the audience did not share either the substance or the intensity of Messiaen’s religious convictions, through Jacobs’ interpretation one could both apprehend those convictions and appreciate them for what they were.“   - Messiaen‘s Livre du Saint Sacrement at San Francisco Symphony, THE EXAMINER, January 25, 2015

“... An obliterating performance by one of the major musicians of our time.“   - Wall of Sound by Alex Ross, THE NEW YORKER, December 15, 2014

“Paul Jacobs is one of the great living virtuosos... It also may be because he is utterly without artifice: still in his 30s, he projects a cherubic boyishness and freshness. In his NSO debut, he sat at the console of the Rubenstein Family Organ and played with a kind of serenity that belied the intricacy of the registrations with which he pulled a rainbow of sounds out of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in a minor. I have seldom heard an orchestral audience leap to its feet and whoop at a solo organ piece, but the adulation was well deserved.“   - Poulenc Organ Concerto and Bach solo w/ National Symphony, THE WASHINGTON POST, October 2, 2014

“Paul Jacobs, with his unique combination of technical virtuosity of the highest order, musical sophistication, total lack of pretension, and honesty. What more can a performing musician hope for than to serve a composer—a neglected great one—in this way.“   - Recital: Bach & Max Reger at Juilliard, NEW YORK ARTS, September 26, 2014

“Symphony season begins with a thundering organ performance.“   - Guilmant Organ Concerto w/ Edmonton Symphony, EDMONTON JOURNAL, September 21, 2014

“Mr. Jacobs had spoken of Reger’s wit and irony, which came through beautifully in the simple hushed start of the fugue, soon to grow loud, hectic and huge.“   - Recital: Bach & Max Reger at Juilliard, THE NEW YORK TIMES, September 11, 2014

“Three brief selections from Messiaen’s “Livre du Saint Sacrement” showed the particular mastery Jacobs has over this composer’s works.“   - Recital: Music from Paris, Kennedy Center, THE WASHINGTON POST, February 6, 2014

“Jacobs is an honest and straightforward performer. Except for the occasional arm flourish at the end of a piece, he doesn‘t draw attention to his virtuosity, which is entirely unlabored. His interpretive approach is clear and direct, even measured, so that the music appears to unwind of its own accord, by its own power.“   - Recital, Music from Paris, Segerstrom Hall, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, May 6, 2013

“The gently rocking Sicilienne is followed by a Toccata with classic Romantic French organ voicing — a virtuoso finale that gave Jacobs ample opportunity to use his considerable technical and interpretative gifts.“   - Bach, Durufle and Liszt Kauffman Center recital, THE KANSAS CITY STAR, June 16, 2012

"Were Mr. Jacobs 'simply' a prodigious talent who built a top solo career starting with his training in Western Pennsylvania, we would be justly celebrating him.

But in the last 10 years Mr. Jacobs has become more than that. Appointed chairman of the organ department at the Juilliard School in 2004, he is a pipe organ advocate as much as a performer.

That shined in his sold-out performance Sunday. He spoke eloquently about the music he performed, inviting the audience into this world. Mr. Jacobs is the only artist I have ever seen who says, 'We are now going to hear a work,' instead of, 'I am going to play a work for you' or 'you are about to hear a work.' It is almost as if he, too, was eager to listen to the music, as if he is so touched by the muse that he was marveling at the music, and his playing, as we were."  
- Recital for Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, May 7, 2012

"The result was an enticing series of shifts between rhetorically elegant simplicity and the fireworks of complexity for its own sake. Jacobs executed the entire package with the utmost composure, not dropping his guard until completing the final étude with its thick web of parallel octaves shared by both manuals and pedals."   - Elgar and Bach concert review, Davies Symphony Hall, THE EXAMINER , January 22, 2012

"Jacobs is a virtuoso who knows how to balance interpretive insight with bravura showmanship. Each piece he played was full of intriguing ideas, be he bringing a fresh take to a tricky and transparent Trio Sonata by J.S. Bach or splicing an Edward Elgar sonata with the composer's familiar Pomp and Circumstance."   - Recital, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, November 13, 2011

"The organist offered a probing, reflective and moving take on this work, which offered abundant opportunities for nuanced tonal shadings that revealed both Jacobs' artistry and the beauty of this symphonic organ."   - The Denver Post, November 6, 2011

"Bach, of course, is at the heart of every organist's repertoire, and Bach is what Jacobs delivered in high fashion. Even in the relatively unceremonial Trio Sonata No. 4 in E minor, he played with controlled transparency and ornate flourishes, allowing a clear understanding of Bach's genius. An encore, Bach's Fugue in A minor from BWV 543, was more flamboyant, its wildly varying tempo shifts and intense buildup giving it a nearly theatrical feel. Unorthodox, perhaps, but it's the kind of playing that could give Jacobs a unique -- and envied -- spot among his peers."   - Birmingham News, October 23, 2011

"On Sunday in downtown Nashville, Jacobs proved that his fingers and feet were equal to his intellect. His recital included not only the complete Elgar sonata but also American composer Florence Beatrice Price's Suite for Organ along with three substantial Bach works. Jacobs dashed off all of this music from memory, and he played every note with feeling and technical perfection."   - John Pitcher, Art Now Nashville, September 26, 2011

"Conlon persuasively led the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra with celebrated organist Paul Jacobs through a landscape of startling instrumental colors...Jacobs tackled Janacek's wildly exuberant organ solo with flair and completely from memory."   - Janacek "Glagolitic Mass" James Conlon, Cincinnati Symphony "May Festival", Cinc, May 23, 2011

"The real knockout is the companion piece, Aaron Copland's Organ Symphony, written when he was 23 and banging down the Modernist doors with his jazziness and serious contemplation. The performance, with Paul Jacobs as organist, is brilliant."   - CD Review, Copland Organ Symphony with SFSO, The Los Angeles Times, March 29, 2011

"Between these two contemporary compositions, each of which built upon the past in its own characteristic way, Jacobs programmed two major representatives of the legacy of the organ repertoire...Jacobs performed with a firm hand that honored both the musicianship and the spectacle."   - Recital at Davies Hall, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Examiner, January 31, 2011