Jaap van Zweden
Jaap van Zweden
The 2018-19 season marks conductor Jaap van Zweden’s first as the twenty-sixth Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. He continues as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a post he has held since 2012. Guest engagements this season include appearances with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and the Dallas Symphony where he is Conductor Laureate, having just completed a ten-year tenure.
Mr. van Zweden was born in Amsterdam and appointed at age nineteen as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career nearly twenty years later in 1996. He remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, where he served as chief conductor from 2005 to 2013. He was previously chief conductor of the Royal Flanders Orchestra from 2008 to 2011. Named Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year, he made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2014.
In his inaugural season as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, Mr. van Zweden presides over three major season pillars that contextualize music through a variety of programs complemented by citywide collaborations: Music of Conscience explores composers’ responses to the social issues of their time, with music by Beethoven, Shostakovich, John Corigliano, and David Lang; New York Stories: Threads of Our City looks at musical expressions of the immigrant experience in New York, with music by Julia Wolfe; The Art of Andriessen spotlights the music of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. Mr. van Zweden also welcomes New Yorkers to Phil the Hall—special concerts for the community—and to the Annual Free Memorial Day Concert, as well as the Concerts in the Parks.
Mr. van Zweden’s recent recordings include live performances with the New York Philharmonic of Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7 released in February 2018 (Decca Gold). With the Hong Kong Philharmonic, he completed a four-year project conducting the first-ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which were also recorded and released on Naxos Records in 2018. His performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal, the latter of which earned Mr. van Zweden the Edison Award for Best Opera Recording in 2012, are available on CD/DVD.
In 1997, Mr. van Zweden and his wife Aaltje established the Papageno Foundation, to support families of children with autism. The foundation has since grown into a multi-faceted organization which, through various initiatives and activities, focuses on the development of children and young adults with autism.