Jaap van Zweden assumed the post of music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2018–19 season, returning to the city where he had gone to study violin – at the Juilliard School of Music – at the age of sixteen. Just three years later, he would be appointed principal violinist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the youngest in its history.
Van Zweden traded in his bow for a conductor’s baton in 1996, going on to hold the position of chief conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, the Residentie Orchestra and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Antwerp, as well as that of chief conductor and artistic director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
Following his appointment as music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2008, a position he held until 2018, his international career took off. Van Zweden has conducted such leading orchestras as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012, he was also appointed music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he released a recording of Wagner’s complete Ring cycle.
His many critically acclaimed recordings include the complete symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms, and Wagner’s Parsifal which was awarded an Edison in 2012. That same year, he was hailed as Conductor of the Year by Musical America.
Van Zweden first conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1998, leading it in an open-air concert in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark. On their last joint appearance in May 2018, he led the orchestra in Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8.