Meet Our New Director

Jacobsen Woollen is a conductor, cellist, and tenor residing in Springfield, Illinois, where he serves as Assistant Conductor of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Illinois Youth Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Springfield Choral Society, and Music Director of the University of Illinois-Springfield Orchestra. An Indiana native, Jacobsen returns to the Midwest after spending six years in Vienna, Austria, where he completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in orchestral conducting under the tutelage of Prof. Mark Stringer at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, conducted professional ensembles including the Polska Filharmonia Baltycka and Ensemble Ultreia, served as assistant conductor of the Vienna Opera Festival, and led the Schlosschor Hadersfeld. 

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During his Vienna years, Jacobsen was frequently called back to the Midwest to work at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where he served as assistant conductor and led several workshops for new works, including Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones. Jacobsen also maintains an active career as a tenor: he recently produced and performed a musical-theatrical concert evening, Lovelace Weave, which explores the father-daughter pair of Lord Byron and Ada Lovelace. As a member of the Grammy-winning Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Jacobsen has participated in opera productions at Theater an der Wien, as well as concerts in Europe’s most renowned venues, including Vienna’s Musikverein and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. Prior to his European sojourn, Jacobsen completed a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan under the guidance of Kenneth Kiesler. During this time he was active in the Ann Arbor musical community, as well, serving as founder and director of Paradigm Shift Chamber Orchestra, music director of the Ann Arbor Camerata, and assistant conductor of the Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra. As a cellist, Jacobsen was a student of Susan Moses in the Indiana University String Academy, and later completed a Bachelor’s Degree with Richard Aaron at the University of Michigan. He has appeared as a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Musical Arts Youth Orchestra, and Voces Novae Chamber Choir. As a chamber musician, he has had the pleasure of collaborating with Joshua Bell, Jaime Laredo, Soovin Kim, and many others. From 2013-16, Jacobsen was cellist and artistic curator with the new-music sextet Latitude 49, and he continues to serve on their Board of Directors.