JAAP VAN ZWEDEN was born in 1960 in Amsterdam and began his musical life as a violinist before moving from stage to podium. He is presently the Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Radio Kamer Filharmonie, and Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra.
He began his violin studies at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and at the age of 19 became the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. As soloist and concertmaster, he performed under such conductors as Haitink, Dorati, Kondrashin, Bernstein, Giulini, Solti, and Chailly before embarking on his conducting career in 1995. From 1996 to 2000, he held the position of Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, with whom he undertook a major tour to the U.S. and made his debut at Carnegie Hall. From 2000 to 2005, he was Chief Conductor of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague – with whom he toured in Europe, Japan, and South America – where he remains an honorary Guest Conductor.
Jaap van Zweden has worked with many prestigious orchestras across the globe, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Orchestre National de France, the Munich Philharmonic, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Aside from an extensive symphonic repertoire, opera also plays an important part in his career. He has conducted La traviata and Fidelio with the National Reisopera, Madama Butterfly at the Netherlands Opera, and concert performances of Verdi’s Otello, Barber’s Vanessa, and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger and Lohengrin at the Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.
Recent highlights have included highly acclaimed debuts with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and a tour of major European capitals and a Beethoven symphony cycle with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Highlights of the 2010/11 season and beyond will include his debuts with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. He makes return visits to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and London Philharmonic orchestras, and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, with which he will conduct a concert performance of Parsifal at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and make his debut at the BBC Proms.
Jaap van Zweden has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Residentie Orchestra and the complete Brahms symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, with whom he is currently recording a Bruckner cycle for Octavia Records; Symphonies Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9 have already been released to great critical acclaim. With the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s own record label he has recorded Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, and his recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic was released in the fall of 2008. For the Dallas Symphony’s own record label he has released symphonies by Tchaikovsky (No. 5) and Beethoven (Nos. 5 and 7). In August 2010 he recorded Mozart Piano Concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra and David Fray.