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Jacob Shaw: Debut


Jacob Shaw, the award winning British cellist, was born in London in 1988. At 19 years old he became the youngest ever cellist to graduate with highest honours from the École Normale de Musique in Paris. In 2008, together with his family, Jacob founded the Festival International de Musique de Chambre en Charente in France. With a vast repertoire and fresh approach to classical concerts, Jacob established "Radical Classic" as an alternative movement to build a diverse and new generation of classical music lovers. His passion for collaborating with different cultures and musical genres has led to projects with indie, jazz, folk, traditional and electronic musicians. A dedicated teacher, his students have won national and international competitions and he frequently holds classes and workshops in music schools and universities. In 2013 Jacob was appointed International Music Ambassador for Dulwich College International (Asia). Since 2012 Jacob Shaw has been based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Brahms E minor extract

Jacob Shaw

Jacob Shaw

Jacob Shaw

Electronic Press Kit

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A rave from Pizzicato (for those of you who speak German!)



Jacob Shaw’s Debut consist of a series of illuminating performances of music from the

two Brahms cello sonatas

to solo cello pieces from the United Kingdom, Denmark, China, Persia, and Catalonia. On the stage

Jacob Shaw is a larger-than-life personality; here he’s intensely intimate, and appropriately so.

The Brahms sonatas with pianist José Gallardo are quite extraordinary;

together the players are fully committed to phrasing without force,

allowing the music to reveal itself in nuance, color, and space.

The duo finds a way to smooth out, almost humanize, the unexpectedly abrupt mood

changes characteristic of Brahms as he is shifting gears. T

he way they tame and thoughtfully unleash the power of the last

four minutes of the first movement of Op. 99 is awesome.

The simple fall colors they find in the Adagio affettuoso are a revelation.Shaw plays Britten’s

Third Suite the same way: personal, thoughtful, reflective, capturing

an almost eerie sense of musical dialogue with Britten himself.The non-classical genre pieces are as much for meditation as display.

Shaw intriguingly juxtaposes traditional melodies from the UK, where he was born,

and Denmark where he now lives. His solo adaptation of Pablo Casals’

theme song "El cant dels ocells," is unexpectedly moving. 

Strings Magazine, Laurence Vittes

Klassisk ifølge Sørensen review

Jacob Shaw and Gallardo convey all the passion and beauty in this music.   A tuneful and evocative end to a very fine debut recital, and I for one am very much looking forward to hearing this highly talented young musician again. Warmly recommended! Jacob Shaw review


This debut project has taken almost 6 years of my life, from the first note recorded in June 2009 until the last, in April 2015. The different “parts” of this recording were taken at 2 year intervals. Between recordings I was naturally influenced by different artists, places, atmospheres and personal experiences. This had a huge effect on my musical development and listening back, I can literally map these changes through the variances both in my playing and choices of repertoire. If I have learnt anything in the 6 years, between my first ever recording (the passion of Brahms op.99) and my last (the Catalonian folk tune, El Cant dels Ocells), it is the irreplaceable significance of music to my life. As Nietzsche so eloquently wrote - “Ohne Musik wäre das Leben ein Irrtum.” (“Without music, life would be a mistake”)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jacob Shaw

The New York Times

The New York Times

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Britten Extract

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