Jaap van Zweden to step down as music director of the New York Philharmonic
The Dutch conductor's tenure with the orchestra will be the shortest since Boulez was music director in the 1970s, when he led the ensemble for just six seasons
Jaap van Zweden has announced his plans to leave his role as music director of the New York Philharmonic at the end of the 2023/24 season. The conductor, who has led the orchestra since 2018, has cited a reevaluation of his life and priorities following the pandemic as the reason for his departure.
His six-year tenure will be the shortest of any New York Philharmonic music director since Boulez, who led the orchestra during the 1970s. Jaap van Zweden has spent much of lockdown back in his home country of the Netherlands.
The New York Times has reported that Van Zweden informed the New York Philharmonic during a rehearsal on Wednesday ahead of the ensemble's opening concert this Friday. There has been no public statement from the orchestra yet.
Van Zweden came to the New York Philharmonic from another leading US ensemble, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He is also the current music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, but his contract is set to expire in 2024 as well – at which point he says he will also step down.
His musical life began as a violinist, with his career kicking off at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, where he was appointed concertmaster at just 19. We named him as one of the best violinists to turn their hand to conducting.
Read all our reviews of Jaap van Zweden's recordings here.
Read all our reviews of New York Philharmonic recordings here.
Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.