From DSO to NYC

Dallas Symphony Orchestra maestro leaves the Big D for the Big Apple

Dallas Symphony Orchestra maestro leaves the Big D for the Big Apple

Jaap van Zweden
Jaap van Zweden is heading to New York City. Photo by Hans van der Woerd

It's official: Revered music director Jaap van Zweden will depart the Dallas Symphony Orchestra after the 2017-2018 season to lead the New York Philharmonic in Manhattan.

Van Zweden joined the DSO as music director in 2008 and has also been heading up the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. After he leaves Dallas he will continue to hold the title of conductor laureate of the DSO through the 2020-21 season.

In a statement from the DSO, van Zweden shares his sentiments about the location change: “As excited as I am about my new appointment with the New York Philharmonic, I continue to be gratified by the work we have done and will continue to do in Dallas. During my last seasons and into my role as conductor laureate, the DSO musicians and I look forward to sharing wonderful musical experiences with you, our audiences. It all started with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and this is something that I will never forget.”

A statement from the Philharmonic notes that this will be a homecoming for van Zweden, who trained at The Juilliard School as a violinist. Van Zweden was appointed the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at age 19, and he began his conducting career 20 years later in 1995. "It was upon the encouragement of Philharmonic laureate conductor Leonard Bernstein, during a rehearsal of Mahler’s First Symphony there, that he first took up the baton," says the statement.

Philharmonic president Matthew Van Besien states: "Having experienced his passionate and dynamic artistry with the New York Philharmonic over four appearances in the last four years, I believe Jaap van Zweden is not only a logical choice for the Philharmonic’s next music director, but an incredibly inspired and exciting one."

The globe-hopping van Zweden made his New York Philharmonic debut on April 12, 2012, and has returned regularly, most recently in October 2015.

“We thank Jaap for his years of artistic leadership and guidance,” says Joseph F. Hubach, chairman of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Board of Governors, in the release. “He and the musicians of the DSO have worked tirelessly to advance the level of artistry of the organization, and they continually perform concerts that thrill and excite."

Jonathan Martin, president and CEO of the Dallas Symphony Association, adds, “The velocity of artistic growth of the Dallas Symphony in the past seven-plus years under Jaap’s leadership is unprecedented in modern orchestra history."

The DSO's 2016-17 season will be announced in the next few weeks.