J. David Jackson
“Jackson led with spirit and energy…wonderful color and style…It was a sheer joy to hear the ensemble playing with such savor faire” – Metropolitan Opera Chamber Players, Carnegie Hall, January 2024 – George Grella, New York Classical Review
J. David Jackson
David Jackson made his conducting debutat theThéâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels with Don Pasquale, and has since won acclaim in Europe, Asia and America. He made his Metropolitan Opera conducting debut with the Richard Jones production of Hansel and Gretel and returned to the Met in 2020 to conduct Porgy and Bess with Eric Owens and Angel Blue. Other conducting credits at the Metropolitan Opera include Simon Boccanegra and The Queen of Spades. His Werther at the MET was canceled due to the pandemic. He returns to conduct at the MET in the 2024/25.
Recent credits have included the American maestro’s debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in a gala concert with Korean soprano Sumi Jo, and his Carnegie Hall debut with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Chamber Players. At the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily, Jackson has led the choral-orchestral version of Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ and the Catanian prima assoluta of Handel’s Messiah. Other recent engagements have included Janáček’s From The House of the Dead and Messiah with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, The Turn of the Screw for the Trentino Music Festival, The Golden Cockerel with Novaya Opera (New York), Tosca at El Paso Opera, and a gala concert at the Smetana Festival in Litomyšl, Czech Republic, featuring soprano Debbie Voigt.
Past seasons have seen Mo. Jackson debut with War and Peace at the Canadian Opera Company, Faust at Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, Weber’s Euryanthe at the Glyndebourne Festival, and Elektra at the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet. He has conducted La Fanciulla del West and Simon Boccanegra with Kentucky Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Omaha, Le Jongleur de Notre Dame at the Central City Opera Festival, and L’Italiana in Algeri at the Wolf Trap Festival, in addition to engagements at the Palm Beach Opera, the Théâtre de la Place in Liège, Belgium and the Slovenian National Orchestra.
At the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Mo. Jackson conducted Così fan Tutte, Die Zauberflöte and The Love for Three Oranges on highly successful tours throughout Belgium and Germany. As Music Director of the Intermezzo Opera Festival, he led the highly acclaimed European premiere of Mark Adamo’s Little Women. He has also conducted L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Don Giovanni and Giulio Cesare at the Trentino Festival, Cendrillon and Turn of the Screw with the Siena Summer Festival, and Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen at the Manhattan School in New York.
A versatile artist, Maestro Jackson’s enormous operatic repertory includes everything from early Baroque to contemporary. He is noted for his interpretation of French and Russian opera, with acclaimed successes of Massenet’s Le Jongleur de Notre Dame at the Central City Opera Festival, and Boris Godunov, Khovanshchina, and Lady Macbeth ofMtsensk with La Monnaie. His performances of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades at the Met and War and Peace</em in Toronto were also critically praised. Since 1996, his new conclusion to Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina is regularly performed in Brussels and elsewhere.
Mo. Jackson’s commitment to contemporary opera is reflected in his successes as Music Director for American Opera Projects productions of Stefan Weisman’s Darkling and Deborah Dratell’s Marina, and conductor for world premiere performances of Kamran Ince’s The Judgment of Midas. Jackson’s contemporary recording catalog also includes Garrett List’s Trees with the National Orchestra of Belgium, and Lorentsen’s Die Musikkommt mir äussert bekanntvor for Danish National Radio.
Jackson’s near-half century of friendship with recently deceased American composing legend Lewis Spratlan has borne fruit in several productions. The maestro led premiere performances of Act One of Spratlan’s Midi, a reinterpretation of the Medea legend set in the 1930’s Caribbean, while his performances of Act 2 of Spratlan’s Life is a Dream garnered the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2000. J. David Jackson has also been selected to serve as editor of a highly anticipated new book on Spratlan’s music.
Mo. Jackson is also active as a composer. His Model Love, for three singers, chamber orchestra and rock band, was premiered at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse. Other works such as Stones of Love, for singers and chamber orchestra, based on texts of Pablo Neruda, his Magnificat for chorus, and his Violin Fantasy and Sonata for Cello and Piano have been heard in Europe and the United States. With Noise and Glee, for concert band, was premiered in April of 2017. His new song cycle, AquaAmoriferens (Water: the Bearer of Love,) for two singers with ancient and modern instruments, based on texts of Homer, Pliny, Statius, Propertius, and Jean-Pierre Otte, will be premiered in New York soon. He is working on a set of choral pieces based on Anglo-Saxon riddles and is collaborating on a new opera with librettist Stephen Pickover.
Under the pen name of David L. Cairns, J. David Jackson has written his two mysteries featuring his heroine pianist/coach Maria Garboni: A Death for Mozart >and Death Comes to Puccini. He will continue the series with a third book, Wagner’s Death Mask.
J. David Jackson was trained as a pianist and violinist before beginning his conducting career. He attended Amherst College and the Peabody Conservatory, studying with Otto Werner Mueller, Franco Ferrara, and Sixten Ehrling. In addition to his native English, David speaks Italian, French, Spanish, German and Russian, is conversant in Czech, and is an avid gardener and amateur chef.