Over the past decade, Jaap van Zweden has been an international presence on three continents. He is currently Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, a post he began in 2018, and has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic since 2012. He has appeared as guest conductor with leading orchestras such as, in Europe, the Orchestre de Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra, and, in the United States, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
In the 2021–22 season Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic perform at Alice Tully Hall and the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, during the accelerated renovation of David Geffen Hall — scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2022 — and in three concerts presented by Carnegie Hall. In addition to symphonic cornerstones, he conducts the NY Phil in the World Premieres of works by Sarah Kirkland Snider, Gregory Spears, Joel Thompson and Joan Tower; a US Premiere by Nico Muhly; and New York Premieres of works by Hannah Kendall and Nina Shekhar.
Highlights from immediate past New York Philharmonic seasons include the launch of Project 19, the multiyear initiative marking the centennial of the 19th Amendment with commissions by 19 women composers, and the new, staged production of Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle.
With the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden conducted the first-ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, the recordings of which are available on the Naxos label. His most recent New York Philharmonic recording is the 2020 release of the World Premiere of David Lang’s prisoner of the state, following the 2019 release of Julia Wolfe’s Grammy-nominated Fire in my mouth, both released on Universal Music Group’s Decca Gold label. His acclaimed performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal — the last of which earned him the prestigious Edison Award for Best Opera Recording in 2012 — are available on CD and DVD.
Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden, at age 19, was appointed the youngest-ever concertmaster of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career almost 20 years later, in 1996. He remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, where he was Chief Conductor (2005–13), served as Chief Conductor of the Royal Flanders Orchestra (2008–11), and was Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (2008–18), where he is now Conductor Laureate. Jaap van Zweden was named Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year and was the subject of an October 2018 CBS 60 Minutes profile on the occasion of his arrival at the New York Philharmonic. Under his leadership the Hong Kong Philharmonic was named Gramophone’s 2019 Orchestra of the Year.
Jaap van Zweden was awarded the prestigious 2020 Concertgebouw Prize.
In 1997 Jaap van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje, established the Papageno Foundation to support families of children with autism. The Foundation has grown into a multifaceted organization that focuses on the development of children and young adults with autism. The Foundation provides in-home music therapy through a national network of qualified music therapists in the Netherlands; opened the Papageno House in 2015 (with Her Majesty Queen Maxima in attendance) for young adults with autism to live, work, and participate in the community; created a research center at the Papageno House for early diagnosis and treatment of autism and for analyzing the effects of music therapy on autism; develops funding opportunities to support autism programs; and, more recently, launched the app TEAMPapageno, which allows children with autism to communicate with each other through music composition.