HK Phil’s Music Director, Jaap van Zweden,
to also head the New York Philharmonic
27 JAN 2016
[27 January 2016, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is thrilled to congratulate its Music Director, Jaap van Zweden, on being chosen as the next Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. The news was announced on 27 January 2016 by the New York Philharmonic. The appointment will not affect his directorship of the HK Phil which currently extends to the summer of 2019.
Van Zweden will take up the position of Music Director Designate in the New York Philharmonic’s 2017/18 season and begin officially as Music Director in their 2018/19 season.
Van Zweden will succeed current Music Director Alan Gilbert. Many of the world’s greatest conductors have held this distinguished post including Lorin Maazel, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Bernstein, and, earlier in its history, Arturo Toscanini and Gustav Mahler.
“I am thrilled to be embarking on this new adventure with the New York Philharmonic”, said van Zweden. “Both the NY Phil and HK Phil are unique groups of highly talented musicians. It’s such an honour to be able to work with them both. Two great cities, and two great orchestras!”
Named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year for 2012, Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since the 2012/13 season and is one of today’s most sought-after conductors. Maestro van Zweden is currently Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of the Radio Chamber Philharmonic.
Y.S. Liu, Chair of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, said: “This news is no surprise to us. Jaap is one of the world’s best conductors and he has taken our orchestra to new heights, leading the HK Phil on a very successful European Tour in 2015 and conducting our major performance and recording project of Wagner’s Ring cycle. This appointment further proves the high quality of his work, and it is an honour and privilege for the HK Phil to have a conductor of
About Jaap van Zweden [full biography]
Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden is one of today’s most sought-after conductors. Named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year for 2012, he has been Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012/13 season. Maestro van Zweden is currently Music Director of the Dallas Symphony, Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of the Radio Chamber Philharmonic. Prestigious orchestras with which he has worked include the Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the New York and London Philharmonics. He made his début with both the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic in the 2014/15 season.
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Jaap van Zweden
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) is recognised as Asia’s foremost classical orchestra. The Orchestra presents over 150 concerts within a 44-week season and attracts more than 200,000 music lovers annually.
Jaap van Zweden, one of today’s most sought-after conductors, is the Orchestra’s Music Director, a position he has held since the 2012/13 concert season. Yu Long was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in the 2015/16 season for an initial three-year term.
Under Maestro van Zweden, the HK Phil is undertaking a variety of projects including a four-year project to perform and record the complete Ring of the Nibelung (Richard Wagner). The Orchestra is in year two of this four-year journey, performing one opera each year in concert. The performances are being recorded live for the Naxos label and mark the first performances by a Hong Kong or mainland Chinese orchestra of the entire Ring cycle.
Also under van Zweden, the orchestra undertook a highly successful five-country, seven-city tour of Europe in the 2014/15 season, with concerts in London, Vienna, Zurich, Eindhoven, Birmingham, Berlin and Amsterdam. Performances were met with enthusiasm and universally positive reviews. The concert in Vienna’s Musikverein was filmed for broadcast on TV.
Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ning Feng, Matthias Goerne, Lang Lang, Yu Long, Yundi Li, the late Lorin Maazel, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yuja Wang.
The HK Phil promotes the work of Hong Kong and Chinese composers through an active commissioning programme, and has released recordings featuring Tan Dun and Bright Sheng, each conducting their own compositions, on the Naxos label. Its acclaimed community engagement programme brings music to tens of thousands of children annually. A recording was issued free to schoolchildren throughout Hong Kong of Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony.
The Swire Group has been the Principal Patron of the HK Phil since 2006. Through this sponsorship, which is the largest in the orchestra’s history, Swire also endeavours to promote artistic excellence, foster access to classical music and stimulate cultural participation in Hong Kong, and to enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as one of the great cities of the world.
Thanks to a significant subsidy from the Hong Kong Government and long-term funding from Principal Patron Swire, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and other supporters, the HK Phil now boasts a full-time annual schedule of classical music concerts, pops concerts, an extensive education programme, and collaborations for staged opera with Opera Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
The Orchestra’s history stretches back to 1895, when it was formed as the Sino-British Orchestra. It was re-named in 1957 and became fully professional in 1974.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is a Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre