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Jaap van Zweden

Conductor

Conductor,Jaap van Zweden

Jaap van Zweden began his tenure as the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2018. He also serves as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a post he has held since 2012. He has conducted orchestras on three continents, appearing as guest with leading orchestras such as, in Europe, the Orchestre de Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and London Symphony Orchestra, and, in the United States, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

 

In October 2022 Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic reopen the renovated David Geffen Hall with HOME, a month-long housewarming for the Orchestra and its audiences. Other 2022–23 season highlights include SPIRIT, which explores humanity’s relationship with the cosmos through performances of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie and J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and EARTH, a response to the climate crisis that includes Julia Wolfe’s unEarth and John Luther Adams’s Become Desert. Over the course of his fifth Philharmonic season, he conducts repertoire ranging from Beethoven and Bruckner to premieres by Marcos Balter, Etienne Charles, Caroline Shaw, and Carlos Simon, in addition to the works by Wolfe and Adams. 

 

In past seasons, Maestro van Zweden presided over the launch of Project 19, the Philharmonic’s multiyear initiative marking the centennial of the 19th Amendment with commissions by 19 women composers, including Tania León’s Pulitzer Price–winning Stride. Other highlights from recent seasons include a new, staged production of Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle; and premieres by Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Ellen Reid, Nina C. Young, among others.

 

Among Jaap van Zweden’s numerous recordings is the 2020 release of the World Premiere of David Lang’s prisoner of the state, which followed the 2019 release of Julia Wolfe’s Grammy-nominated Fire in my mouth, both recorded with the New York Philharmonic and released on Universal Music Group’s Decca Gold.  He conducted the first-ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, the recordings of which are available on the Naxos label. His acclaimed performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal — the last of which earned him the prestigious Edison Award for Best Opera Recording in 2012 — are available on CD and DVD.

 

Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden, at age 19, was appointed the youngest-ever concertmaster of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career almost 20 years later, in 1996. Recently named Conductor Emeritus of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, he remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, where he was Chief Conductor (2005–13); served as Chief Conductor of the Royal Flanders Orchestra (2008–11); and was Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (2008–18), where he is now Conductor Laureate. Jaap van Zweden was named Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year and was the subject of an October 2018 CBS 60 Minutes profile on the occasion of his arrival at the New York Philharmonic. In 2020 he was awarded the prestigious Concertgebouw Prize, and in 2019, under his leadership, the Hong Kong Philharmonic was named Gramophone’s Orchestra of the Year.

 

In 1997 Jaap van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje, established the Papageno Foundation to support families of children with autism. The Foundation has grown into a multifaceted organization that focuses on the development of children and young adults with autism. The Foundation provides in-home music therapy through a national network of qualified music therapists in the Netherlands; opened the Papageno House in 2015 (with Her Majesty Queen Maxima in attendance) for young adults with autism to live, work, and participate in the community; created a research center at the Papageno House for early diagnosis and treatment of autism and for analyzing the effects of music therapy on autism; develops funding opportunities to support autism programs; and, more recently, launched the app TEAMPapageno, which allows children with autism to communicate with each other through music composition.

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