"The New York Philharmonic will serve as an ideal platform. Already I find him a superb Brucknerian, and if he continues in the same vein, his fame should be assured."Fanfare Magazine, 21-9-2017
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. In January 2016 van Zweden was announced as the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He will take up the position at the beginning of the 2018/19 season, serving as Music Director Designate during the 2017/18 season. 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 a 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 debut performances with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and 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.
Jaap van Zweden has appeared as guest conductor with many leading orchestras across the globe which, in addition to those above, include the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, 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 Symphonies, and his BBC Proms debut conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony. With the Dallas Symphony he launched the inaugural SOLUNA 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 will be recorded for release on Naxos Records.
Jaap van Zweden has made numerous acclaimed recordings, which include Stravinsky’s 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 of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger and Parsifal are also available on CD/DVD, the latter 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 drama August 4, 1964.
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.
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (RFO) has a prominent place in the Dutch music scene. Its inexhaustible commitment to the highest artistic quality and a balanced program qualifies the RFO as one of the best orchestras in the Netherlands. The orchestra was founded in 1945 by Albert van Raalte and was then led by successively Paul van Kempen, Bernard Haitink, Jean Fournet, Willem van Otterloo, Hans Vonk, Sergiu Comissiona, Edo de Waart and Jaap van Zweden. In 2012, Markus Stenz was appointed chief conductor. The young American conductor James Gaffigan was appointed principal guest conductor since the 2011-2012 season. Bernard Haitink is Patron of the RFO.
The RFO worked with renowned guest conductors as Leopold Stokowski, Kirill Kondrashin, Antal Dorati, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Peter Eötvös, Vladimir Jurowsky and Valery Gergiev. The RFO provides important contributions to the NTR Saturday Matinee and The Sunday morning concert series in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and to the AVROTROS Fridayconcert series in Utrecht. The RFO excels in particular programmed symphonic concerts and concert opera performances, containing many first performances in the Netherlands and world premieres. In addition, the RFO appeared at international festivals like Strasbourg’s Musica, the Edinborough Festival, and at the BBC Proms 2011 at the Royal Albert Hall. The RFO appears frequently in the best concerthalls throughout Europe, with performances in Vienna, Cologne, München, Berlin, Paris, and the UK.
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra has built an impressive CD catalogue. It appeared on various labels from the 70’s with legendary recordings with such conductors as Leopold Stokowski and Antal Doráti. Led by Jean Fournet a series of CDs was released with French repertoire. Recordings of the complete symphonies of Mahler conducted by Edo de Waart were released on CD, as well as a unique Wagner-box and the complete orchestral works by Rachmaninov. CDs with works by contemporary composers such as Jonathan Harvey, Klas Torstensson and Jan van Vlijmen were awarded prizes and honorable mentions. More recently Shostakovich's symphonies were released with conductor Mark Wigglesworth for the BIS label. Another prestigious recording on cd covers all 8 symphonies by K. A. Hartmann, a pioneering project that received the greatest critical acclaim. The live recording of Wagner's Parsifal conducted by Jaap van Zweden was awarded the Edison Classic 2012 in the category Opera. The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic has been granted the Edison Oeuvre Award 2014, for its indispensable role in Dutch music life.
The New York Philharmonic will serve as an ideal platform. Already I find him a superb Brucknerian, and if he continues in the same vein, his fame should be assured.
Fanfare Magazine, 21-9-2017
Challenge Classics Highlights
Klassieke Zaken, 01-12-2016
"Van Zweden's version gives a special attraction to the slow part, where he is stronger than most of his colleagues, he knows how to get the melancholic interpretation in the spotlight."
Opus Klassiek, 13-10-2016
four star rating (****)
"He paints colour with a fine brush. Climaxes stay in balance."
De Volkskrant, 01-10-2016
CD-box of the week: Bruckners symphonies directed by Jaap van Zweden
NPO radio 4, 22-9-2016
"Jaap van Zweden's inimitable Bruckner recordings all in one box."