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 is also Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Radio Chamber Philharmonic (having been Chief Conductor from 2005-2011). In January 2012 he was announced as Music Director Designate of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, where he will take up the post of Music Director in September 2012, 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 Hague Philharmonic (2000-2005), and Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (2008-2011). In November 2011 Jaap 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 appeared as guest conductor with many prestigious orchestras across the globe, including the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Munich Philharmonic, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Orchestre National de France, Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra. Aside from an extensive symphonic repertoire, opera also plays an important part in van Zweden’s career. He has conducted La Traviata and Fidelio with the National Reisopera, Madama Butterfly at the Netherlands Opera, and concert performances of Verdi’s Otello, Barber’s Vanessa and Wagner’s Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Parsifal at the Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and the Netherlands Radio Choir.
Recent highlights have included highly acclaimed debuts with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich and the Boston Symphony (at the Tanglewood Festival) and his BBC Proms debut conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Bruckner’s Eighth symphony. Highlights of the 2011/12 season and beyond will include subscription debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and return visits to the Orchestre National de France, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago and St Louis Symphony Orchestras, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Monte Carlo Philharmonic and London Philharmonic Orchestras.
Jaap van Zweden has made numerous acclaimed recordings which include Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Petrushka, and the complete Beethoven and Brahms symphonies. He is currently recording the cycle of Bruckner symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic for Octavia and Challenge Records International, with symphonies 2, 4, 5, 7 and 9 already released to great critical acclaim. He has recorded Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 with the London Philharmonic, and his highly acclaimed performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger and Parsifal are also available on CD/DVD. For the Dallas Symphony’s own record label he has released the symphonies of Tchaikovsky (Nos. 4 and 5) and Beethoven (5 and 7). In August 2010 he recorded Mozart Piano Concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra and David Fray.