The HK Phil’s music director, Jaap van Zweden has led the orchestra to global acclaim
One of the most sought conductors after in the world, Dutch-born maestro Jaap van Zweden has been music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. Under his baton the orchestra has risen to world-class status, winning the Gramophone Orchestra of the Year Award in 2019 for its recording of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Van Zweden was also the long-term music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and has, since 2018, filled the same role for the New York Philharmonic. He has worked with a wide range of other ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France. Van Zweden is also an acclaimed violinist, who became concertmaster of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra aged just 18.
Jaap van Zweden also runs the Papageno Foundation, an organisation that uses musical therapy and other projects to help autistic children, which he founded with his wife, Aaltje, in 1997. The couple have four children.
(Photo: Michaela Giles)
Did You Know?
Jaap van Zweden had a pretty stellar introduction to conducting: he was invited to lead an orchestra rehearsal in Berlin by no less a figure than Leonard Bernstein.