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Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden has risen rapidly in little more than a decade to become one of today’s most sought-after conductors. He has been Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and in September 2012 he took up the position of Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, for an initial contract of four years. Appointed at nineteen as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he began his conducting career in 1995 and held the positions of Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (1996-2000), Chief Conductor of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague (2000-2005), and Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (2008-2011) and Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Radio Chamber Orchestras from 2005-2011(he remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra). In November 2011 van Zweden was named as the recipient of Musical America's Conductor of the Year Award 2012 in recognition of his critically acclaimed work as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and as a guest conductor with the most prestigious US orchestras.

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Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden has risen rapidly in little more than a decade to become one of today’s most sought-after conductors. He has been Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and in September 2012 he took up the position of Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Appointed at nineteen as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he began his conducting career in 1995 and held the positions of Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (1996-2000), Chief Conductor of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague (2000-2005), and Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (2008-2011) and Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Radio Chamber Orchestras from 2005-2011(he remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra). In November 2011 van Zweden was named as the recipient of Musical America's Conductor of the Year Award 2012 in recognition of his critically acclaimed work as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and as a guest conductor with the most prestigious US orchestras.

Jaap van Zweden has appeared as guest conductor with many leading orchestras across the globe, including the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Munich Philharmonic, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Orchestre National de France, Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra. Aside from an extensive symphonic repertoire, opera also plays an important part in Maestro van Zweden’s career, and he has conducted La Traviata and Fidelio with the National Reisopera, Madama Butterfly at the Netherlands Opera, and concert performances of Verdi’s Otello, Barber’s Vanessa and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, Parsifal and Lohengrin at the Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.

Recent highlights have included highly acclaimed debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Boston, San Francisco and London Symphonies, and his BBC Proms debut conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in Bruckner’s Eighth symphony. Future highlights include subscription debuts with the Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Budapest Festival Orchestra and return visits to the Orchestre de Paris and the Rotterdam and London Philharmonic Orchestras. He will curate with the Chicago Symphony a three-week festival entitled "Truth to Power" that will focus on music of Britten, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, tour China with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and return to the Verbier Festival.

Jaap van Zweden has made numerous acclaimed recordings which include Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Petrushka, Britten’s War Requiem, and the complete Beethoven and Brahms symphonies. He has recently completed a cycle of Bruckner symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, to great critical acclaim. He has recorded Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 with the London Philharmonic (LPO Live), and Mozart Piano Concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra and David Fray (Virgin) and his highly acclaimed performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger and Parsifal are also available on CD/DVD, the latter of which earned Maestro van Zweden the prestigious Edison award for Best Opera Recording in 2012. For the Dallas Symphony’s own record label he has released the symphonies of Tchaikovsky (Nos. 4 and 5) and Beethoven (5 and 7), and the world premiere recording of Steven Stucky’s cantata ‘August 4, 1964’.

In 1997, Jaap van Zweden and his wife Aaltje established the Papageno Foundation, the objective being to support families with one or more children with autism. Over the years, that support has taken shape in a number of projects, such as Music Therapy and Music Makers, where professional music therapists and musicians, who receive additional training from Papageno, use music and make music with autistic children.

SEASON  2013/2014

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Reviews

"Jaap van Zweden is now the leading interpreter of Bruckner’s symphonies, and has trained his orchestra to perform them brilliantly. This is a leading recommendation [of Symphony No. 3]."

Michael Tanner, BBC Music Magazine

"Amid the many orchestral pleasures that van Zweden and the CSO have provided through three programs thus far, their electrifying account of Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony takes the prize – surpassing even the weekend’s buoyant and witty Shostakovich Ninth Symphony and a solemn, luminous Britten “Sinfonia da Requiem.” Van Zweden charged the ultra-familiar Prokofiev Fifth with astonishing freshness. He seemed to touch every fiber of its piquant irony and unfettered songfulness. And the CSO put its virtuosity on the line in a hair-raising finale that prompted a ripping ovation."

Lawrence Johnson, Chicago on the Aisle, May 2014

"With Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony, it seemed as if he and the Vienna Philharmonic had made music together for decades: the intention of the conductor and the execution by the orchestra were completely as one. Like rider and horse in absolute harmony. […] A Bruckner interpretation of high precision and persuasiveness."

Stefan Ender, Der Standard, April 2014

"The Dallas Symphony and music director Jaap van Zweden returned to Meyerson Symphony Center Thursday through Sunday to create a delicate and intriguing conversation […] Van Zweden and the orchestra performed with gorgeous sensitivity throughout the performance"

Wayne Lee Gay, D Magazine, March 2014

"[Verdi Requiem] has been overexposed around here in recent seasons, but music director Jaap van Zweden ensured that there wouldn’t be a routine note. Phrases were lovingly shaped, pivotal notes sometimes breathtakingly — but strategically — delayed. Everything was fastidiously scaled and integrated."

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News, February 2014

"[van Zweden’s] sense of balance allowed for full appreciation of all the details of Mozart’s counterpoint, as well as the composer’s sharp ear for the interplay of sonorities across string, wind, and brass sections."

Stephen Smoliar, SF Classical Music Examiner, February 2014

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Discography