Fred Jacobs
Lute and Theorbo player

source of inspiration for his outstanding way of playing his instruments is the responsability he feels towards the composer and his time while searching for the 17th century sound. As one of few he plays the theorbo with its original gut strings.


   Fred Jacobs studied lute and theorbo at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory. His teacher Anthony Bailes gave him an excellent education at that famous institution where since 1995 Jacobs himself teaches lute and theorbo - specialised on the more unknown music of the 17th century which more or less exists in tabulature only.

   Fred Jacobs' wide experience is based on diverse concert activities. He is founder and member of The Locke Consort that won first prizes at London and Boston during the eighties. He plays with famous ensembles such as the Gabrielli Consort and Players, The Parley of Instruments, Currende Consort, the Baroque Orchestra of the Nederlandse Bachvereniging and the Monteverdi Continuo-Ensemble from the Bavarian State Opera that won the Münchner Festspielpreis in 1997. Many vocalists like Anne Azéma, Johannette Zomer, Michael Chance, Max van Egmond or Maarten Koningsberger are regulary accompanied by Fred Jacobs and he plays under well-known conductors like Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Robert King, Ivor Bolton or Andrew Parrot. Fred Jacobs gave concerts at major music festivals such as Utrecht, Beaune, Venice, York, Moscow, Schleswig- Holstein and San Antonio. He performed with operas in Nancy, Bath, Munich, Paris, Amsterdam and Florence. His numerous CD-recordings are various.

   Together with Carolyn Watkinson Fred Jacobs runs workshops on the lute-accompanied English song and with Anne Azéma the French "Air de Cour". He also gives master classes at the conservatories of Arnhem and Rotterdam.


   Jacobs is one of the world’s masters of theorbo (and lute), and his contributions here are exemplary interpretations of several Kapsberger selections.

from: Classics Today, program: workd of Kapsberger


   Jacobs’s theorbo accompaniment includes some stunning harmonic tensions in his realisations of the skeletal figured bass: scholarship bringing performance to life.

from: BBC Music Magazine

Programmes   4




4a la cour de LOUIS Xiv









Fred Jacobs:


Splendore di Roma

with Johannette Zomer, soprano, including works for theorbo solo by Kapsberger

CCS 19998  

» Fred Jacobs is a man of taste... Kapsberger´s theorbo solos are perfection... Jacobs wears his virtuosity lightly.

   (International Record Review)

» Kapsbergers' compositions for theorbo solo with their stunning dissonances could even build a bridge to blues or punk ballads. Soothing that this kind of music shows its effects here by Fred Jacobs' noble and detached way of laying.



just published:


with Johannette Zomer, Soprano, Nuove Musiche of Giulio Caccini

includes also pieces for theorbo solo from Alessandro Piccinini

CCS SA 21305

  1 Amor, io parto (2:51) 12 Amarilli mia bella (2:44)
  2 Mentre che fra doglie.. (2:00) 13 Aur'amorosa (2:53)
  3 Filli, mirando il cielo (2:53) 14 Dolcissimo sospiro (2:07)
  4 Al fonte, al prato (1:22) 15 Non ha 'l ciel..  (2:06)
PICCININI (1566- ca. 1638) PICCININI
  5 Toccata IV (1:05) 16 Partite variate sopt..  (3:51)
  6 Corrente Prima (1:19) 17 Corrente IX (1:00)
CACCINI 18 Chiaconna (1:18)
  7 Fortunato augellino (3:17) CACCINI
  8 Vaga su spin'ascosa (3:13) 19 Tutto 'l di piango (6:30)
  9 A quei sospir ardenti (3:04) 20 Fre selvaggie (2:04)
10 Udite, udite, amanti (1:18) 21 Dalla porta d'oriente (3:28)
11 Tenore deto il Merca..  (3:04)

Music Shortcuts: 

17 Corrente IX (mp3, 31 s, 221 KB)

12 Amarilli (mp3, 49 s, 336 KB)


Musiches Sweetest Joyes

with Mieneke van der Velden, viola da gamba, includes pieces for lute by Dowland 

CCS 21204


Michael Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore (1662) 

with The Parley of Instruments, includes lute quartets by Vallet

Hyperion CDA 67240  


Giovanni Antonio Mealli: Violin Sonatas (1660) 

with Andrew Manze and Richard Egarr

CCS 5894


John Blow: Awake my Lyre

with Redbyrd and The Parley of Instruments

Hyperion CDA 66658


Matthew Locke: Seven Suits 

with The Locke Consort

Globe 5027


The World of Purcell 

with The Locke Consort

Globe 5058


Henry Purcell: Ten sonatas in four parts 

with The Locke Consort

CCS 7295


John Jenkins: Fantasias and Airs 

with The Locke Consort  

CCS 17698

Music Shortcuts J. H. Kapsberger: A. Piccinini:
Gagliarda (mp3, 37 s, 258 KB) Corrente IX (mp3, 31 s, 221 KB)
Toccata III (mp3, 43 s, 300 KB) J. Dowland:
Canzone I (mp3, 61 s, 434 KB) Preludium (mp3, 40 s, 279 KB)