Thibaud first studied violin with his father and from his thirteenth to the Paris Conservatoire. In 1896 he won together with Pierre Monteux, who later became a well-knownconductor , the Conservatory Violin price. Thibaud was wounded during fighting in the first world war. However, he managed to rebuild his technique. In 1943 he was co-founder of the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International competition for violinists and pianists.
Thibaud was not only a soloist, but also played much Chamber music, particularly as part of a piano trio with the pianist Alfred Cortot and cellist Pablo Casals. He made concert tours with the pianist Yves Nat and George Enescu. Thibaud was a friend of Eugène Ysaÿe, who made his Second Sonata for Violin solo dedicated to him. Among his students was Eric Rosenblith.
Thibaud died in 1953 when the Lockheed Constellation of Air France flight F-BAZZ to Hong Kong crashed in the French Alps near Mont Cimet. At that accident died all occupants. His 1720 Stradivariusviolin, which still had been of Pierre de Sales Baillot , went with him at under.