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JAAP VAN ZWEDEN

Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden has risen rapidly in little more than a decade to become one of today’s most sought-after conductors. He is music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Before moving into his conducting career, he was an acclaimed violinist, winning first prize at the Oscar Back Violin Competition at fifteen and studying with Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School of Music in New York. Appointed at nineteen as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he appeared as concerto soloist with major conductors including Haitink, Dorati, Kondrashin, Bernstein and Chailly, and made a number of recordings including the Brahms, Barber and Paganini concertos, Beethoven and Brahms sonatas with Ronald Brautigam, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Bernstein’s Serenade.

Beginning his conducting career in 1995, van Zweden held the positions of chief conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (1996–2000), chief conductor of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague (2000–2005), chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (2008–2011) and chief conductor and artistic director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Radio Chamber Orchestras (2005–2011). He has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago and Boston Symphony, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the New York, Munich and London Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich and Orchestre de Paris, and appeared at the BBC Proms, and the Tanglewood and Aspen Festivals. His opera repertoire includes La Traviata and Fidelio (National Reisopera), Madama Butterfly (Netherlands Opera), Otello, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Lohengrin, and Parsifal. His recordings include Britten’s War Requiem, the complete Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner symphonies, Mahler’s Symphony No 5, and his highly acclaimed performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger and Parsifal are also available on CD/DVD. In November 2011 van Zweden was named as the recipient of Musical America’s Conductor of the Year Award 2012 in recognition of his critically acclaimed work as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and as a guest conductor with the most prestigious US orchestras.

In 1997, Jaap van Zweden and his wife Aaltje established the Papageno Foundation, the objective being to support families with one or more children with autism. Over the years, that support has taken shape in a number of projects, such as Music Therapy and Music Makers, where professional music therapists and musicians, who receive additional training from Papageno, use music and make music with autistic children.


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