The English composer, Gabriel Jackson, was born in Bermuda.. After three years as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, he studied composition at the Royal College of Music in London, first in the Junior Department with Richard Blackford and later with John Lambert, gaining his Bachelor of Music degree in 1983. While at the College he was awarded the R.O. Morris Prize for Composition in 1981 and 1983, and in 1981 he also won the Theodore Holland Award. In 1992 he was awarded an Arts Council Bursary.
Gabriel Jackso’s music is regularly performed, recorded and broadcast throughout Europe and the USA and has also been heard, in recent years, in Cape Town, Ho Chi Minh City, Kiev, Kuwait, Sydney, Tokyo and Vancouver.. His works have been presented at many festivals in the UK and beyond, including Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Spitalfields, Haarlem Choir Biennale, Festival Vancouver, the Sydney Spring Festival and the BBC Proms. His liturgical pieces are in the repertoires of many of Britain's leading cathedral and collegiate choirs and his music has been commissioned and performed by many of the world’s leading vocal ensembles, among them The Sixteen, Latvian Radio Choir, Tallis Scholars, Bavarian Radio Choir, Swedish Radio Choir, Ars Nova Copenhagen and Norwegian Soloists Ensemble. In 2003 he won the liturgical category at the inaugural British Composer Awards.
Recent choral works from 2009 include commissions from the BBC Singers, Wells Cathedral, and Merton College, Oxford, as well as the carol commission for A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast live from King's College Chapel, Cambridge on Christmas Eve 2009. Choral works premiered in 2008 include Ave Regina Caelorum for The Sixteen with guitarist Tom Kerstens, performed at the opening of Kings Place in October 2008 and a Requiem performed by The Vasari Singers on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2008 at St Martin-in-the-Fields. In 2009 he won the choral award for The Spacious Firmament.
Recent instrumental projects include a Piano Sonata, commissioned and premiered by David Wilde, a Piano Concerto, commissioned by the Presteigne Festival for Huw Watkins, and Doonies Hill Antiphon, for seven solo strings, for Scotland’s RedNote Ensemble.
Gabriel Jackson's music is being recorded with increasing frequency, with over 60 works available on CD by labels as NMC, Delphian, Hyperion, Metier, Usk, GFR, Lammas, Priory, Telarc, York Ambisonic and the British Music Label. In 2005 the choir of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh released a disc of his sacred choral music on Delphian Records, and a second volume will appear in 2012. In 2009, Hyperion released the critically-acclaimed Not No Faceless Angel, with Polyphony and Stephen Layton, and in 2013 also issued a second choral disc, by Maris Sirmais and the State Choir Latvija. Instrumental recordings include the recent release on SFZ Music of his complete organ works played by Michael Bonaventure.
Since January 2010 Gabriel Jackson has been Associate Composer to the BBC Singers, resulting in a series of substantial commissions, including In Nomine Domini for the 2010 BBC Proms and Airplane Cantata for choir and pianola. Other recent commissions include According to Seneca, for the award-winning Philadelphian professional chamber choir, The Crossing, The glory of the Lord, written for the Papal visit to Westminster Abbey in September 2010, and To the field of stars, co-commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus, S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir, Stockholm, and the Nederlands Kamerkoor, premiered in Autumn 2011. Later in 2012 saw a new work to mark the Tallis scholars’ 40th anniversary, and, for Easter 2013, a full length Passion for the Choir of Merton College, Oxford