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.
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, holding the Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Directorship, and Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. The Amsterdam-born van Zweden was appointed at nineteen as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and began his conducting career twenty years later in 1995. 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 Musical America's 2012 Conductor of the Year 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.
Highlights of the 2015/16 season include return visits to the New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Rotterdam and London Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as debut performances with the Israel Philharmonic, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Czech Philharmonic. Van Zweden returns to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic this fall to lead a concert performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, tours the UK and Europe with the Dallas Symphony in the spring, and makes his debut at the Vienna State Opera in performances of Wagner’s Lohengrin in May.
Jaap van Zweden has appeared as guest conductor with many leading orchestras across the globe which, in addition to those above, include the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Orchestre National de France, Oslo Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Recent highlights have included highly successful appearances at the Verbier Festival, tours of major venues in Europe and China with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Boston and London Symphonies, and his BBC Proms debut conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony. With the Dallas Symphony he launched the inaugural SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival, and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic he has begun a four-year project to conduct the first ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which will be recorded for release on Naxos Records.
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. 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). His highly praised 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), Beethoven (Nos. 5 and 7), Mahler (No. 6) and Dvořák (No. 9), and the world premiere recording of Steven Stucky’s concert drama August 4, 1964.
In 1997, Jaap van Zweden and his wife Aaltje established the Papageno Foundation, the objective being to support families of children with autism. Over the years, that support has taken shape through a number of programs in which professional music therapists and musicians, receiving additional training from Papageno, use music as a major tool in their work with autistic children.
"Jaap van Zweden commanded the piece both intellectually and viscerally, and the orchestra played stunningly. […] The finale was sheer magic, balanced between urgency and lingering over, and leaning into, juicy harmonic suspensions"Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News
"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
Mahler: Symphony No. 6 2013
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 / Rihm: Gesungene Zeit 2013
Bruckner: Symphony No. 6, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Challenge Classics 2013
Bruckner: Symphony No. 3, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Challenge Classics 2013
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 (Suite No. 4 Mozartiana) (Dallas Symphony Orchestra) 2012
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5 (Symphony No.5/ Capriccio Italien) (Dallas Symphony Orchestra) 2012
Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 2012
Benjamin Britten: War Requiem 2012
Richard Wagner: Parsifal, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Robert Holl, Falk Struckmann, et al. 2011