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Jaap van Zweden named next music director of the New York Philharmonic starting in 2018

Submitted by on Jan 27, 2016 – 4:38 pm

Jaap van Zweden is the next music director of the NYPhil (Hans van der Woerd)

This Just In: The following is from a news release written by an arts organization.

Initial Five-Year Contract To Begin in 2018–19 Season
Van Zweden To Serve as MUSIC DIRECTOR DESIGNATE in the 2017–18 Season

New York Philharmonic Chairman Oscar S. Schafer and President Matthew VanBesien have 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.

[Editor’s note: Van Zweden had a leading role in the Chicago Symphony’s 2014 festival “Truth to Power.”]

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.”

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 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 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 of Lohengrin, 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 drama August 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 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.

Ureli Corelli Hill 1842–1847
Theodore Eisfeld 1848–1865
Carl Bergmann 1855–1876
Leopold Damrosch 1876–1877
Theodore Thomas 1877–1891
Anton Seidl 1891–1898
Emil Paur 1898–1902
Walter Damrosch 1902–1903
Wassily Safonoff 1906–1909
Gustav Mahler 1909–1911
Josef Stransky 1911–1923
Willem Mengelberg 1922–1930
Arturo Toscanini 1928–1936
John Barbirolli 1936–1941
Artur Rodzinski 1943–1947
Bruno Walter 1947–1949
Leopold Stokowski 1949–1950
Dimitri Mitropoulos 1949–1958
Leonard Bernstein 1958–1969
Laureate Conductor 1943–1990
George Szell 1969–1970
Pierre Boulez 1971–1977
Zubin Mehta 1978–1991
Kurt Masur 1991–2002
Lorin Maazel 2002–2009
Alan Gilbert 2009–present
*In some years there was no designee for this position.

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