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Japp 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 – a post he has held since the 2018/19 season. Guest engagements this season include the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Maestro 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, the most recent of which is a September 2019 release with the New York Philharmonic of the world premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth, continuing the New York Philharmonic’s partnership with Decca Gold.  In 2018 with the HK Phil, he completed a four-year project conducting the first-ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which have been recorded and released on Naxos Records.  His highly praised performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger 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 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. Van Zweden was named Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year and was the subject of an October 2018 CBS 60 Minutes profile. Recently, van Zweden was awarded the prestigious 2020 Concertgebouw Prize. 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 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.

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