Composer and pianist Aaron Jackson offers programs that combine his original compositions and improvisations with selections from the classical repertoire, with an emphasis on music from the 20th century. His 2012-2013 season featured works by Beethoven, Brahms and Bacewicz; Liszt, Janacek and Dvorak; Babbitt, Lieberson, and Shifrin; Scriabin, Copland and Rautavaara; all in programs that also featured his own music, including the premiere of his Piano Sonata. Recent collaborations include Chroma for jazz trumpeter Ben Holmes; a Trio for violin, cello, and piano, with musicians Chase Spruill and Adrienne Taylor from Providence’s Community Music Works; and a set of 8 preludes for piano created in conjunction with a corresponding series of paintings by his wife, artist Prachie Narain Jackson, called The Book of Wandering.
Aaron grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, where he discovered the music of local composer Milton Babbitt; at age 15 he performed several Babbitt pieces at a solo recital of contemporary piano music, which was subsequently repeated at the Juilliard School in New York. Babbitt became a friend and mentor, encouraging Aaron to supplement his studies at Juilliard by working with pianist Robert Taub, who was then artist-in-residence at the Institute of Advanced Study; and to attend Princeton University, where he went on to study both philosophy and music. His principal teachers in philosophy included Scott Soames, Gilbert Harman and David Lewis; in music, Scott Burnham, Kofi Agawu, and Paul Koonce. His thesis on Music Perception and Nonconceptual Content won the John Martyn Warbeke prize in Aesthetics. He went on to study music theory at Columbia University with Joseph Dubiel and Ian Bent, where he met and became a student of pianist Marilyn Nonken.
He has performed at various venues in New England, including the Boston Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, and the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design. From 2011 - 2013, he performed regularly in a series of programs at the Boston Athenaeum. He is currently the Advanced Studies Coordinator in Piano and Composition at the Yamaha Music School of Boston. He is also a regular guest artist at Community MusicWorks in Providence, where he currently resides.