Jaap van Zweden

Music Director Designate, New York Philharmonic 17/18 season
Music Director, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Music Director, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Honorary Chief Conductor, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Emeritus, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic
Principal Conductor, Gstaad Festival Orchestra and Gstaad Conducting Academy (from 2017)

Biography

Jaap van Zweden has risen rapidly in the past decade to become one of today’s most sought-after conductors. On January 27, 2016, the New York Philharmonic announced that Jaap van Zweden will be their new Music Director starting with the 2018-19 season, and will act as Music Director Designate during 2017-18.  He has been Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, holding the Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Directorship, and will continue in that role through the 2017-18 season, after which he becomes Conductor Laureate. He has also been 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 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 a debut performance with the Czech Philharmonic. Van Zweden returned to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in the fall of 2015 to lead a concert performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, and makes his debut at the Vienna State Opera in performances of Wagner’s Lohengrin in May.

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Reviews

“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

“Taken from two concert performances in January, 2015, this is the first installment of an entire Ring Cycle from the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Jaap van Zweden to be recorded by Naxos. It makes you hungry for the rest.”

Robert Levine

Classics Today

More Reviews

“Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden has established himself as one of his generation’s most respected conductors and administrators. […] Zweden fosters and maintains a superb balance between intensity and rapt expressivity, never sacrificing momentum when granting passages the expansiveness that they require. Zweden’s tempi unerringly meet the demands of the score, and there are far greater senses of tension and resolution in this performance than in many faster-paced, more pushed Walküres.”

Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts, November 2016

“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 

“Taken from two concert performances in January, 2015, this is the first installment of an entire Ring Cycle from the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Jaap van Zweden to be recorded by Naxos. It makes you hungry for the rest.”

Robert Levine, Classics Today 

“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