Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jaap van Zweden to become next music director of the New York Philharmonic

Yesterday, The New York Times and other media reported the announcement of Jaap van Zweden as the New York Philharmonic's music director, starting with the 2018-2019 season. He will be the conductor-designate for the 2017-2018 season. He succeeds Alan Gilbert, who announced that he planned to leave the Philharmonic at the end of 2017.

Van Zweden, 55, has been the music director of the Dallas Symphony since 2008 and the music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic since 2012. I met him in 2010 at the annual Music Critics (MCANA) meeting and heard him conduct the Dallas Symphony at that time. I don't have access to my review of the concert, because it was posted on Oregon Music News, which has lost connection to a lot of articles after they shifted to a new server a few months ago.

Van Zweden is from Holland, and at age 19, he was the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Here is interesting quote from the NY Times article:

"Mr. van Zweden will not be the first Dutch conductor to lead the Philharmonic. Willem Mengelberg, who was associated with the Concertgebouw Orchestra for most of his career, led the Philharmonic from 1922 through 1930. Mr. van Zweden said he admired the meticulousness of Mr. Mengelberg, who is remembered for rehearsing pieces even after opening night."

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