Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music


Music Performance

First Advisor

Joseph Rackers


This study concerns the life and career of Paul Jacobs, focusing in particular on the role Jacobs played in bringing about new American works for piano in the second half of the twentieth century. Jacobs was a key figure in the New York new music scene of the 1960s and 1970s and a personal friend to many composers who were active during this period. The study provides an overview of historical events which brought about the musical climate of late twentieth century America, a climate that was not entirely hospitable to native-born American composers. It examines Jacobs’ collaboration with Elliott Carter and the influence Jacobs may have had on works by Carter with which he was associated. The study concludes with an overview of selected stylistic aspects of Carter’s Night Fantasies. This final chapter is intended to provide pianists interested in Carter’s music with a concise introduction to critical aspects of his style. Solutions to certain questions of interpretation are proposed via an examination of documents belonging to Jacobs found within the Paul Jacobs Archive in the New York Library for the Performing Arts.