Jaap van Zweden appointed to the Hong Kong Phil

James Jolly
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The conductor Jaap van Zweden, music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, has just been named music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic (succeeding fellow Dutchman Edo de Waart); he assumes the role at the start of the 2012-13 season.

Van Zweden, who was appointed concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at the age of 19 (the youngest ever), began his conducting career in 1995. Since then he has held posts with the Netherlands SO, the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague and the Royal Flemish PO. He was appointed to his role in Dallas in 2008 and has been garnering enthusiastic reviews for his work there. 

Michael MacLeod, chief executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra said, 'Those who witnessed the four awe-inspiring concerts that Maestro van Zweden conducted last November know he is a musician of the highest calibre. His work with the orchestra has been truly inspirational.  His appointment is the best direction for the orchestra and I would like to extend my warmest welcome to the maestro, on behalf of the musicians and administration.' And van Zweden commented that 'this is an ensemble of 90 talented musicians which possesses great musicality as well as potential. It deserves its reputation as one of the best in Asia. My work as music director will go beyond the concert stage, and include what I think are essential elements for the growth of the orchestra, such as the education programme and advocacy for a world-class home for us in the West Kowloon Cultural District. I am very excited about the upcoming season we are planning, and I believe there is a great future ahead of us.' 

Among his recordings is one of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony with the Netherlands Radio PO of which Richard Osborne commented that 'this is a deeply impressive Bruckner Fourth. It is one of those performances in which the reading and its realisation are of a piece: a finely considered concept that elicits orchestral playing which is at one with the music itself.' 

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