Bil Jackson, Associate Professor of Clarinet at the Blair School of Music, enjoys a varied musical career that includes solo, orchestral and chamber music appearances. Jackson studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he won the IAA's concerto competition three years in a row, and was awarded the gold medal for superlative musicianship upon graduation. He continued his formal study at Northwestern University with Robert Marcellus. Jackson is the only person to win the International Clarinet Competition twice, and he was a finalist in the Prague International Clarinet Competition. Jackson began his orchestral career with the Honolulu Symphony as principal clarinetist as a sophomore at Northwestern University at the age of 20.
Before joining the faculty at the Blair School, Jackson served as principal clarinetist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony and performed as guest principal clarinetist with the St Louis, St. Paul Chamber, Minnesota and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras. He also has appeared as a soloist with the Colorado, Honolulu, Denver, Charlotte, Dallas Chamber and Aspen Chamber Orchestras.
Jackson has served on the Artist-Faculty of the Aspen Music Festival for a number of years. He is also on the Artist-Faculty of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival and has previously served on the faculties of the University of Texas, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado and Duquesne University.
Jackson maintains a commitment to music education, performing recitals and presenting master classes throughout the United States and abroad. In August of 2008, he was a featured artist at the Japan International Clarinet Festival and has presented master classes at the Yale, Shepherd School, Northwestern, Manhattan, Eastman, and Colburn Schools of Music.
Jackson commissioned, and premiered with the Honolulu Symphony, Dan Welcher's Clarinet Concerto, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. During the 2008-2009 Colorado Symphony season, he premiered Kevin Puts' Clarinet Concerto, with Jeffrey Kahane conducting. Additionally, he performed the concerto on a live NPR national broadcast from the Aspen Music Festival's 2010 season.
Jackson teams with pianist Bill Douglas to present concerts that synthesize jazz, classical, and contemporary formats. Together they record for the Hearts of Space label. Jackson's chamber music affiliations have included performance-collaborations with David Shifrin, Ida Kavafian, Jeffery Kahane, Cho-Liang Lin, Peter Wiley, Emanuel Ax, Jon Kimura Parker, Milan Turkovic, Stephen Hough, Awadagin Pratt, Anne Marie McDermott, Eugenia Zukerman, Steve Prutsman, Pamela Frank, Ransom Wilson, Sharon Isbin, Toby Appel, Bill Douglas, Tokyo String Quartet, Shanghai String Quartet, American String Quartet, Pacifica Quartet and the Miami String Quartet.
Additionally, Jackson is a guest artist with the Music from Angel Fire, Camerata Pacifica, Chamber Music Unbound, Bravo! Colorado, Chamber Music Northwest, Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Strings in the Mountains and Sunflower Chamber Music Festivals. Jackson has also toured with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and the Australian Chamber Music Festival.
Jackson is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and plays Rico Classic Reserve reeds exclusively.