Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden is to be the new music director of the New York Philharmonic following the departure of Alan Gilbert, who announced his resignation last summer.
He will become music director designate from 2017 and will take up his the position of music director in 2018 on a five-year contract.
Van Zweden, who has been at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008 and the Hong Kong Philharmonic since 2012, will be the NY Phil’s 26th music director, following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Lorin Maazel, Arturo Toscanini, Pierre Boulez and Leonard Bernstein, who first encouraged the young Dutchman to become a conductor.
Van Zweden will lead the orchestra for 12 weeks of the year and take the orchestra on its national and international tours and residencies.
‘This is one of the happiest and most fulfilling days of my life,’ he said. ‘To be asked by the great musicians of the New York Philharmonic and by the board of this iconic institution to be its music director is truly an honour.
‘As musicians, we strive to achieve the best for our audiences in sharing the music of so many gifted composers of the past and present as we look to the future. My heart is full, and my family and I look forward to being true New Yorkers, as I was during my Juilliard days.’
Born in Amsterdam, Van Zweden is a fine violinist too, and, at just 19, was the youngest ever leader of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, a position he held right up until 1995, the year he embarked on his conducting career.