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Jaap van Zweden, SBS

Jaap van Zweden, SBS

Over the past decade, conductor Jaap van Zweden has become an international presence on three continents. Currently Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, he is also Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, and became Music Director of the Seoul Philharmonic in 2024. Recent guest engagements include Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphony and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.  


Jaap van Zweden has appeared as guest conductor with many other leading orchestras around the globe, among them the Orchestre de Paris, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra.


Jaap van Zweden has made numerous acclaimed recordings, including the world premiere of David Lang’s prisoner of the state (2020) and Julia Wolfe’s Grammy-nominated Fire in my mouth (2019), both recorded with the New York Philharmonic and released on Universal Music Group’s Decca Gold.  With the HK Phil, he recorded Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle, and recently Mahler’s Symphony no. 10 and Shostakovich’s Symphonies nos. 5, 9 and 10, all for the Naxos label, in addition to a new Tchaikovsky album on Universal’s Decca label. His highly praised performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Parsifal are available on CD/DVD.


Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was appointed at 19 as the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career nearly 20 years later in 1996. He remains Conductor Emeritus of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic where he served as Chief Conductor from 2005–2013, served as Chief Conductor of the Royal Flanders Orchestra from 2008–11, and was Music Director from 2008–2018 of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra where he currently holds the title 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. He has also been awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in recognition of his significant contribution to the development of the HK Phil and classical music in Hong Kong. In April 2023, Jaap van Zweden was awarded the prestigious Concertgebouw Prize.


In 1997, Jaap van Zweden and his wife Aaltje established the Papageno Foundation, the objective being to support families of children with autism. Now, over 20 years later, the Foundation has grown into a multi-faceted organisation which, through various initiatives and activities, focuses on the development of children and young adults with autism.  The Foundation provides in-home music therapy to children through a national network of qualified music therapists in the Netherlands; opened the Papageno House in August 2015 (with Her Majesty Queen Maxima in attendance) for young adults with autism to live, work and  participate in the community; created a  research  centre at the Papageno House for early diagnosis and treatment of autism and for analysing  the effects of music therapy on autism; develops funding opportunities to support autism programmes; and launched the app, TEAMPapageno, which allows children with autism to communicate with each other through music composition.