Jaap van Zweden conducting the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Jaap van Zweden Scores New York Phil Post

The Dallas Symphony's Van Zweden will become Music Director of the New York Philharmonic beginning with the 2018-19 season; Dallas to begin search for his replacement.

published Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Photo: Mark Kitaoka
Jaap van Zweden conducting the Dallas Symphony Orchestra


Dallas — This morning it was announced that Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, has been appointed Music Director of the New York Philharmonic beginning with the 2018-19 season. He'll replace Alan Gilbert. You can read the story in the New York Times here. Van Zweden will become Conductor Laureate for three years with the DSO. But he still has two full seasons, and the rest of the current one, in Dallas. The DSO's 2016-17 season will be announced in a few weeks.

Below is a statement from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, followed by the news release from the New York Philharmonic. Look for TheaterJones to follow up on this story in the coming days:


Photo: Mark Kitaoka
Jaap van Zweden

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra congratulates Jaap van Zweden on the announcement of his appointment as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic beginning in the 2018-19 season.

DSO is proud to have been an integral part of Maestro van Zweden’s exciting musical journey. We look forward to continuing our artistic path together through the 2017-18 season, which will be his final season as DSO Music Director.

This morning, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce that following his tenure as our Music Director, he will hold the title of Conductor Laureate of the DSO starting with the 2018-19 season and going through 2020-21, ensuring a robust conducting presence with us.

“We thank Jaap for his years of artistic leadership and guidance,” said Joseph F. Hubach, Chairman of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Board of Governors. “He and the musicians of the DSO have worked tirelessly to advance the level of artistry of the organization, and they continually perform concerts that thrill and excite. We are looking forward to extraordinary music making for the next 2 1/2 years with Jaap as Music Director, and for an additional three years as Conductor Laureate.”

“The velocity of artistic growth of the Dallas Symphony in the past seven-plus years under Jaap’s leadership is unprecedented in modern orchestra history”, added Jonathan Martin, President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Association. “Jaap brings to the podium an intense focus, discipline and adherence to the very highest standards, and it is revealed every time he makes music with the outstanding musicians of the DSO. I am looking forward to working with Jaap in the coming years as this growth continues.”

Jaap van Zweden has asked us to share the following message with you: “As excited as I am about my new appointment with the New York Philharmonic, I continue to be gratified by the work we have done and will continue to do in Dallas. During my last seasons and into my role as Conductor Laureate, the DSO musicians and I look forward to sharing wonderful musical experiences with you our audiences. It all started with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and this is something that I will never forget.”


And below is the official media release from the New York Philharmonic on the appointment:


New York Philharmonic Chairman Oscar S. Schafer and President Matthew VanBesien today announced that conductor Jaap van Zweden will become the Orchestra’s next Music Director, beginning in 2018–19, the Orchestra’s 177th season. Mr. van Zweden will serve as Music Director Designate in the 2017–18 season.

As the New York Philharmonic’s 26th Music Director, Mr. van Zweden — who has been Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008 and Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012 — will succeed Alan Gilbert, whose tenure began in 2009 and culminates in the 2016–17 season. Mr. van Zweden will become Music Director Designate in the 2017–18 season, when he will conduct several weeks of concerts. In the 2018–19 season he begins his tenure as Music Director, conducting the New York Philharmonic for 12 weeks each year, leading the Orchestra on national and international tours and residencies, and guiding the Philharmonic through the planned renovation of David Geffen Hall.

Acclaimed for superb performances and orchestra-building in Dallas and around the world, Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden was appointed at age 19 as the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and began his conducting career 20 years later in 1995. It was upon the encouragement of Philharmonic Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein, during a rehearsal of Mahler’s First Symphony there, that he first took up the baton. His appointment as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic will be a homecoming for Mr. van Zweden, who was trained as a violinist at The Juilliard School.

Mr. van Zweden made his New York Philharmonic debut on April 12, 2012, and has returned regularly, most recently in October 2015. During the 2016–17 season he will lead the New York Philharmonic in a program featuring the New York Premiere of a Viola Concerto by Julia Adolphe written for Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps. 

“On behalf of the search committee and the entire New York Philharmonic family, I am thrilled to name Jaap van Zweden as the New York Philharmonic’s next Music Director,” said Philharmonic Chairman Oscar S. Schafer. “I’d like to sincerely thank the committee and its chair, J. Christopher Flowers, which was unanimous in its choice of Mr. van Zweden, who demonstrates the highest level of music making, befitting this excellent Orchestra, as well as an infectious enthusiasm and dedication toward taking this great institution into the next era.”

“Having experienced his passionate and dynamic artistry with the New York Philharmonic over four appearances in the last four years, I believe Jaap van Zweden is not only a logical choice for the Philharmonic’s next Music Director, but an incredibly inspired and exciting one,” said Philharmonic President Matthew VanBesien. “As both a strong musician and leader, Jaap brings energy and electricity that mirror our hometown, the great city of New York, and his deep commitment to the music itself promises many thrilling performances for our audiences. Moreover, Jaap will be an engaged, visionary, and dedicated partner in building the future of this Orchestra, including the planned renovation of David Geffen Hall, activities during the renovation, and the eventual return to our concert home.”

“This is one of the happiest and most fulfilling days of my life,” said Jaap van Zweden. “To be asked by the great musicians of the New York Philharmonic and by the Board of this iconic institution to be its Music Director is truly an honor. As musicians, we strive to achieve the best for our audiences in sharing the music of so many gifted composers of the past and present as we look to the future. My heart is full, and my family and I look forward to being true New Yorkers, as I was during my Juilliard days.”

“I am very excited that Jaap van Zweden will be the Philharmonic’s next Music Director, as is the rest of the Orchestra,” said Fiona Simon, Chairperson of the Orchestra Committee. “He is an outstanding musician who brings a special type of energy to the podium that will be inspiring to both musicians and audiences. In Jaap we have a strong musical partner whose commitment to the Orchestra will ensure performances of the highest artistic level.”

Photo: Mark Kitaoka
Jaap van Zweden

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. Mr. van Zweden remains honorary chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor emeritus of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra. In November 2011, Mr. 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 U.S. orchestras.

Mr. van Zweden last appeared with the New York Philharmonic in October 2015 in concerts of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major, K.488, with the Philharmonic’s Artist-in-Association Inon Barnatan. Additional highlights of the 2015–16 season include return visits to the Orchestre de Paris and the Rotterdam and London Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as debut performances with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Czech Philharmonic. Mr. 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 Staatsoper in performances of Wagner’s Lohengrin in May.

Jaap van Zweden has appeared as guest conductor with many leading orchestras across the globe that, in addition to those above, include The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 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 Symphony Orchestras, and his BBC Proms debut conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony. With the Dallas Symphony he launched the inauguralSOLUNA 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 is being recorded for release on Naxos Records.

Jaap van Zweden has made numerous acclaimed recordings, which include Stravinsky’s The 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 ofLohengrin, Die Meistersinger, and Parsifal are also available on CD/DVD, the last 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 (Nos. 3 and 6), and Dvořák (No. 9), and the world premiere recording of Steven Stucky’s concert dramaAugust 4, 1964. Most recently released on Naxos is his recording with the Hong Kong Philharmonic of Wagner’s Das Rheingold.

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. Papageno House, a new home for autistic young adults and children, was opened in Laren, The Netherlands, in August 2015, with Queen Maxima in attendance.

The New York Philharmonic plays a leading cultural role in New York City, the United States, and the world. This season’s projects will connect the Philharmonic with up to 50 million music lovers through live concerts in New York City and on its worldwide tours and residencies; digital recording series; international broadcasts on television, radio, and online; and as a resource through its wide range of education programs and the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives.

The Orchestra has commissioned and/or premiered works by leading composers from every era since its founding in 1842 — including Dvořák’s New World Symphony, John Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning On the Transmigration of Soulsdedicated to the victims of 9/11, and Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

Renowned around the globe, the Philharmonic has appeared in 432 cities in 63 countries — including the groundbreaking 1930 tour of Europe; the unprecedented 1959 tour to the USSR; the historic 2008 visit to Pyongyang, D.P.R.K., the first there by an American orchestra; and the Orchestra’s debut in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2009. The New York Philharmonic serves as a resource for its community and the world. It complements its annual free concerts across the city — including the Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer — with Philharmonic Free Fridays and a wide range of education programs — among them the famed, long-running Young People’s Concerts and Philharmonic Schools, an immersive classroom program that reaches thousands of New York City students.

Committed to developing tomorrow’s leading orchestral musicians, the Philharmonic has established the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, collaborations with partners worldwide offering training of pre-professional musicians, often alongside performance residencies. These include the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership and collaborations with Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West and The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

The oldest American symphony orchestra and one of the oldest in the world, the New York Philharmonic has made almost 2,000 recordings since 1917, including several Grammy Award winners, and its self-produced digital recording series continues in the 2015–16 season. Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009, succeeding a distinguished line of 20th-century musical giants that includes Leonard Bernstein, Arturo Toscanini, and Gustav Mahler. Thanks For Reading

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Jaap van Zweden Scores New York Phil Post
The Dallas Symphony's Van Zweden will become Music Director of the New York Philharmonic beginning with the 2018-19 season; Dallas to begin search for his replacement.
by Mark Lowry

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