Jacobi, Georges


German composer, violinist and conductor; born at Berlin. Began to take violin lessons from Ganz when only six years old, and later studied under de Beriot, at Brussels. In 1849 he went to Paris, where he entered the Conservatory, in Massart's class, and studied harmony and composition under Reber, Gevaert and Cheri, winning the first prize for violin in 1861. He played for two years at the Comic Opera, then for nine years at the Grand Opera House, giving also many concerts of his own. He became leader of the Theatre Bouffes under Offenbach in 1869, and, going to London the next year in behalf of that theatre, had to remain until after the siege of Paris, playing meanwhile at Covent Garden. He returned to Paris, but was called back to London in 1872 to direct the Alhambra Theatre. While there he composed over a hundred ballets, many of them performed in the cities of Germany and America and also in Paris and Rome; the first and third acts of a very successful fairy spectacle, The Black Crook, for which Frederick Clay wrote the music of the other acts; La Marriee depuis Midi, played by Mme. Judic all through Europe; songs; and violin pieces. On retiring from the Alhambra in 1898 he conducted the Summer Theatre at the Crystal Palace, and for two weeks led the Promenade concerts at Covent Garden. He was made conductor of the Hippodrome when it was opened in 1899, but resigned in favor of his son. He has written a number of comic operas, Le feu aux poudres, La nuit du 15 Octobre, and others; and spectacles, notably, the Demon's Bride. Among his best ballets are Yolande; Cupid and Arcadia; and The Seasons. He was made professor of the Royal College of Music in 1896; was twice president of the Association of Conductors of England; an officer of the French Academy, and Knight Commander of the Order of Isabel, the Catholic, Spain. His compositions are melodious, unaffected and of high grade for theatre music. He was an excellent teacher and a splendid conductor.