"(HK Phil with Lang Lang: Brahms’ Variation on a Theme by Joseph Haydn) Jaap van Zweden imbued every phrase with imagination, from misty autumnal landscapes to lickety-split gallops. The violas sounded like warm melting chocolate."

Alexi Alrich, South China Morning Post, April 2014

“Jaap van Zweden has refined the tone of the Hong Kong Phil, and brought it up at least one notch in the richness of its sound. The start to its 40th season as a fully professional orchestra on Friday was very auspicious.”

Alan Yu,, September 2013

“Anticipating a conductor’s fresh stamp on Mahler’s long, neurotic work often disappoints, but Jaap van Zweden clearly delighted Friday’s audience with what he drew from a stage brimming with manpower… The finale proved an authoritative exercise in time management, with van Zweden applying the spurs, notably in passages that look backwards to previously stated material and threaten to impose structural stasis.”

Sam Olluver, South China Morning Post, February 2013

“In his usual charismatic manner, Jaap van Zweden kept a strong hand over the Hong Kong Philharmonic in a polished and perfectly shaped interpretation, clearly delineating each layer of the architecture and giving free rein to solo instruments.”

Alan Yu,, December 2012

“… Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, which brilliantly illustrated each movement’s structural force, zapping out the extra stops with judicious timing while integrating striking contrasts between the weighty and the wispy. The players sounded on fire at times and were at one with the podium technically and conceptually. More, please maestro.”

Sam Olluver, South China Morning Post, October 2012

“…the orchestra’s firm grip on rhythm added colour to the lovers’ struggle with paternal dominance and the inexorable march towards their tragic destiny (Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto).…It has been suggested that under Jaap van Zweden’s stewardship, the Hong Kong Philharmonic could become the “Berlin Philharmonic of Asia”. By demonstrating a strong affinity with Chinese culture, he has found a clear path towards distinguishing the orchestra from many of its counterparts in other parts of the world.”

Alan Yu,, September 2012

“And the finale laid out its set of variations like a swiftly dealt hand of cards, each with distinctive colour and character…The orchestra (HKPO) responded to van Zweden’s grip on the soul of the piece with an impressively disciplined performance.”

Sam Olluver, South China Morning Post


梵志登近期稱譽 Jaap van Zweden’s Current Accolades

[with Dallas Symphony Orchestra] "(Mahler 3) Music director Jaap van Zweden had, if anything, an even more masterly command of the piece."

Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, May 2015

[with Dallas Symphony Orchestra] "(Mahler 3) The finale was sheer magic, balanced between urgency and lingering over, and leaning into, juicy harmonic suspensions."

Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, May 2015

[with Chicago Symphony Orchestra] “… and van Zweden marshaled his orchestral juggernaut with exacting control.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, May 2014

[with Chicago Symphony Orchestra] “By skillful degrees, Van Zweden built up the aural image of a force almost beyond resistance.”

Lawrence B. Johnson, Chicago on the Aisle, May 2014

[with Chicago Symphony Orchestra] “Van Zweden uncovered a wealth of fine instrumental detail…”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, May 2014

with Vienna Philharmonic] “it seemed as if he and the Vienna Philharmonic had made music together for decades: the intention of the conductor and the execution by the orchestra were completely as one. Like rider and horse in absolute harmony.”

Stefan Ender, Der Standard, April 2014

with San Francisco Symphony] “…the result was nothing less than stunning”

Stephen Smoliar, SF Classical Music Examiner, February 2014

With LSO] “In Rachmaninov's Symphony No 2 the LSO sounded more Russian than the Moscow City Symphony… But he (van Zweden) did: drawing the music into huge arcs and keeping momentum fierce, he paced things superbly.”

Erica Jeal, The Guardian, February 2014

[With Chicago Symphony] “The sheer intensity of the performance earned him a roaring ovation on a blissfully cool night at the park. What's more, it added another triumph to the notable list of successes van Zweden has achieved with the orchestra downtown since his Chicago début in 2008.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, July 2012

[With Chicago Symphony] “I mean it as the highest praise when I say that the Beethoven Seventh Van Zweden and the CSO produced was exceptional enough to efface from memory any number of mediocre readings I've heard over the years…Van Zweden kept each element in harmony with the other, and the orchestra members played as if possessed.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, May 2012

[New York Philharmonic Début] “In the Mahler Mr. van Zweden put a higher priority on musical character and dramatic impact than on flawless execution and textured sound.”

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, April 2012


[With Boston Symphony] “Rachmaninoff’s piece has a well-earned reputation for sounding weighty and distended. Yet van Zweden, conducting with coiled intensity and sharp, clear-cut gestures, made it into something improbably lean and dynamic. Accents were crisp and precise. Melodies that usually wander had shape and definition. Big moments never sapped the music of forward momentum.”

David Weininger, Boston Globe, February 2012

[With Chicago Symphony] “Erupting like a great cry of a wounded heart, the finale was all fire and purpose, built across a wide sound-spectrum, from piercing piccolos and flutes to glowering trombones and tuba. There was a noticeable pulling-back midway through to allow the violins ample space in which to soar; Van Zweden managed this so deftly that the long line never lost direction. After the last jubilant bursts of brass, the audience leapt to its feet in cheers.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, December 2011