Arnold Jacobs

This post is part of a series called Know This Brass Player which features significant brass players from all over the world.

Name: Arnold Jacobs (1915-1998)

Instrument: Tuba

Location: USA

Significance: Arnold Jacobs was a professional tuba player that gained notoriety not only as a prolific orchestral player but also as a teacher for all wind instruments. As a tuba player, Jacobs was a member of the Indianapolis Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and eventually the Chicago Symphony. It was in Chicago where Jacobs received his fame as the foundational member in the legendary brass section that included Adolph Herseth, Dale Clevenger, and Jay Friedman. A member of the Chicago Symphony from 1944 to 1988, Jacobs can be heard on many recordings with world-renown conductors ranging from Fritz Reiner to Claudio Abbado to Georg Solti to Daniel Barenboim.

While Jacobs is one of the main standards in tuba playing, it was his teaching of “Song and Wind” that gave a lasting impression on his students. College students, amateurs, and professionals from all over the world would travel to Jacobs’ studio to receive a lesson with him. Most students walked out a lesson not more technically sound but rather more fundamentally sound. Jacobs’ focus on breathing with singing the sound from your brain was the hallmark of his teaching. Many of his students have now become legends in the brass world.

For more information visit:

Windsong Press
The Pedagogy of Arnold Jacobs
Jake’s Legacy

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith is a trombonist, brass teacher, and blogger. He studied music performance at both Grace College and Carnegie Mellon University, and currently is the bass trombonist for Orchestra Iowa and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Jeremy started Last Row Music as an online resource of job postings and artist links for brass musicians around the world. When he is not performing or blogging, Jeremy is giving brass lessons to students throughout the country from his home in Centerburg, Ohio.