ABOUT JACOB GLICK
Jacob Glick was an internationally renowned violist and teacher, performing as principal violist in many orchestras and chamber groups. Throughout his prolific career he was a passionate advocate of contemporary music. He valued the performing and teaching of compositions written by living composers, and over the course of his career premiered over 200 works. His inspirational guidance was and continues to be a remarkable influence, both as a teacher and chamber music coach.
Mr. Glick helped to renew and inspire awareness of the viola d’amore. He performed many late 17th and 18th century compositions written for the instrument. Mr. Glick also performed contemporary works written by composers interested in the viola d’amore, commissioning several of them himself.
He was born in Philadelphia on January 29, 1926. He began viola study at the New School of Music in Philadelphia, continuing his study at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. In 1962, he made his solo recital performing debut at Carnegie Recital Hall. He was a principal violist for various ensembles and orchestras, including the Robert Shaw Chorale, Clarion Concerts Orchestra, Esterhazy Orchestra, and others.
He was a frequent performer with many new music groups based in New York. The Group for Contemporary Music and the Contemporary Chamber Players were among them. He also performed with the Penn Contemporary Players (University of Pennsylvania), the Philadelphia Composer’s Forum, and Marlboro Music Festival. He toured the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia with various orchestras and chamber ensembles. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s, Mr. Glick played in many commercial recording sessions, including the Verve Records jazz album Focus featuring Stan Getz.
Jacob Glick’s career included major composition performances, including Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher (viola concerto) with the Clarion Orchestra in 1965 at Avery Fischer Hall (Lincoln Center); soloist with the Fifth International Viola Congress at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York; Town Hall (New York); and the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.). Mr. Glick also performed important premiers during his career, including the first performances in the United States of Pierre Boulez’s Le marteau sans maître, and premiers of works by Otto Leuning, Ursula Mamlok, George Rochberg, John Harbison, Vivian Fine, and many others. A distinguished chamber musician, Mr. Glick was a violist in the Beaux Arts String Quartet, the Contemporary Quartet, and the Silvermine String Quartet. These ensembles performed landmark performances and premiers of contemporary chamber music.
Mr. Glick was a frequent performer during the New York Fluxus art movement and avant-garde music years. In the early 1960’s he received a telephone call from multimedia artist and singer Yoko Ono. She asked him if he knew how to play the musical saw. Intrigued and always up for a new challenge, he went downstairs to his basement to look for a saw. Using his viola bow, he played different pitches and sound effects for Ono into the telephone. Once he got the quality she was looking for, he got the job. At the premier of Ono’s A Grapefruit in the World of Park on April 3, 1961 at The Village Gate he played viola. He played the musical saw for the same work on November 24, 1961 at Carnegie Recital Hall. In 1970 Mr. Glick received another request to play the musical saw. Composer George Crumb knew that he was able to play it and hired him to perform the world premier of his Ancient Voices of Children. Aside from the musical saw, Mr. Glick also played the mandolin. He can be heard playing it in Arnold Schoenberg’s Serenade, Op. 24 on a Sony Classics recording for the 40th anniversary of the Marlboro Festival. He also performed on the mandolin for the early 18th century Concerto for Two Mandolins in G Major by Antonio Vivaldi. Mr. Glick played this work with the New York Philharmonic in 1972. Bruno Maderna was the conductor for this performance.
A dedicated professor of music, Mr. Glick taught violin and viola, and coached chamber music. For more than twenty years, he taught at Bennington College in Vermont. During much of that time, he served as the Music Director of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, held every summer at Bennington College.
Mr. Glick was married to violinist, professor, and sculptor Lilo Kantorowicz Glick. Their two daughters, two grandchildren, son-in-law, many students, and friends survive them.
(January 29, 1926 - November 1, 1999)
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