Every musician should ask: how committed are you? Could you do something else

Every musician should ask: how committed are you? Could you do something else


norman lebrecht

July 27, 2019

The organist Paul Jacobs is one of the most thoughtful, self-searching practitioners on any instrument. A Grammy winner who played the complete works of J S Bach in an 18-hour unbroken marathon, he talks to Zsolt Bognar about pain, anxiety, struggle… it’s not easy.




  • John S Orel says:

    Many musicians I’ve met should be committed

  • Martain Smith says:

    Maybe the question should read; “SHOULD you do do something else?”!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this, Norman–we have heard from so many viewers particularly already about this one, saying they were very moved.

    • YB Schragadove says:

      Zsolt, thank you so much for this extraordinary interview. This conversation was particularly moving and inspiring. I love your Living the Classical Life programs and can’t wait for next episode!

  • Micaelo Cassetti says:

    I really wish Herbert von Hochmeister had gone into cancer research; I feel that he was a genius who really could’ve turned his hand to anything. He could have done music at an extraordinarily high “amateur” level, on a charitable basis. But he was no Celi or Furtwangler. The BPO deserved better.

  • Eddie hAmill says:

    What would seem to be the point in playing a marathon of Bach, just to prove your committed,, unless the music comunicates something, which it doesn’t always, one might be better playing ones interpretation of a Bach piece,,, after learning it by ear, then throwing away the music and playing a version or interpretation of it….there’s enough music thankyou very much, without having marathons of it, next thing they’ll be wanting it recognized as an olympic sport,,,,, a part time musician ‘committed’ to his family,,, playing whenever he can get time may well be as committed as the marathon musician guys/gals…….

  • Wladek says:


  • Attentive Reader says:

    I expect that Mr. Jacobs played all the organ works of Bach in that marathon session, not “the complete works of J S Bach.”