[16 January 2012 – Hong Kong] After a two-year search, the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Maestro Jaap van Zweden as the Orchestra’s Music Director for four years, starting with the 2012/13 season. Maestro van Zweden, Musical America’s Conductor of the Year for 2012, will succeed the outgoing Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Edo de Waart.
“It is a tremendous step forward for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra to be joined by one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. When Maestro van Zweden steps onto the HKPO podium, there is immediate excitement from the orchestra and the audiences alike,” said Mr Y.S. Liu, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society and of the Music Director Search Committee. “We salute Maestro van Zweden’s artistic leadership, and entrust in him not only the future development of the orchestra, but also that of Hong Kong’s cultural advancement.”
“I can’t tell you how thrilled and honoured I am to be appointed Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra,” said Maestro van Zweden. “This is an ensemble of 90 talented musicians which possesses great musicality as well as potential. It deserves its reputation as one of the best in Asia. My work as Music Director will go beyond the concert stage, and include what I think are essential elements for the growth of the Orchestra, such as the education program and advocacy for a world-class home for us in the West Kowloon Cultural District. I am very excited about the upcoming season we are planning, and I believe there is a great future ahead of us.”
Maestro Edo de Waart, current Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Orchestra, offered his congratulations and said, “I am very happy with the appointment of my fellow Dutchman Jaap van Zweden as my successor. He is a wonderful musician who I am sure will bring the Hong Kong Philharmonic to new heights. I wish him and the Orchestra all the best.”
Michael MacLeod, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra said, “Those who witnessed the four awe-inspiring concerts that Maestro van Zweden conducted last November know he is a musician of the highest calibre. His work with the Orchestra has been truly inspirational. His appointment is the best direction for the Orchestra and I would like to extend my warmest welcome to the Maestro, on behalf of the musicians and administration.”
Maestro van Zweden, currently Music Director Designate of the Orchestra, will officially assume the role of Music Director on 1 August 2012 and perform his inaugural performances on 28/29 September 2012 in the National Day Celebration concerts at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
Jaap van Zweden
Amsterdam-born Jaap van Zweden is one of today’s most sought-after conductors. Recently named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year for 2012, he is currently Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Radio Chamber Philharmonic. Appointed at age nineteen as the youngest Concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he began his conducting career in 1995, successively holding the positions of Chief Conductor at the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (1996-2000), Chief Conductor of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague (2000-2005) and Chief Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (2008-2011).
Prestigious orchestras he works with regularly include the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Munich Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Orchestre National de France, and the London Philharmonic. Maestro van Zweden has conducted at major international festivals including the BBC Proms, and the Tanglewood and Aspen Festivals. Future plans include his subscription débuts with the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony.
Opera also plays an important part in his activities. His repertoire includes La Traviata and Fidelio (National Reisopera), Madame Butterfly (Netherlands Opera), Otello, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Lohengrin, Parsifal and Vanessa.
He has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Residentie Orchestra, Shostakovich Symphony No.5 with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Mahler Symphony No.5 (recorded live at his London Philharmonic début), Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and the Brahms symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, with whom he is currently recording a Bruckner cycle for the Octavia label, with symphonies 2, 4, 5, 7 and 9 already released to great critical acclaim.
Fourteen years ago, Maestro van Zweden and his wife Aaltje established the Papageno Foundation, its objective being to support families with one or more children with autism. Over the years, that support has taken shape in a number of projects, such as Music Therapy and Music Makers, where professional music therapists and musicians, who receive additional training from Papageno, use music and make music with autistic children.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is one of Asia’s leading orchestras. Enriching Hong Kong’s cultural life for over a century, the Orchestra is acknowledged as a formidable ensemble of Chinese and international musicians.
The largest and busiest artistic organization based in Hong Kong, the Orchestra annually touches the lives of over 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances. During its year-long concert season, it collaborates with world-class artists such as pianists Lang Lang and Yundi Li, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Gil Shaham among others to bring classical music to the people of Hong Kong.
With an acclaimed education program, engagement with the many young people studying music in the region, and ongoing community outreach activities, the Hong Kong Philharmonic aims to serve the deep interest in and love for music in the city.
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Maestro Jaap van Zweden
Photo Credit: Marco Borggreve
Photo Credit: Cheung Chi-wai
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Keith Hiro
HONG KONG PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Edo de Waart
Artistic Director and Chief Conductor
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) is one of Asia’s leading orchestras. Enriching Hong Kong’s cultural life for over a century, the Orchestra has grown into a formidable ensemble of Chinese and international talents, attracting world-class artists to collaborate on its stage. HKPO annually touches the lives of over 200,000 music lovers through more than 150 performances including its extensive education programme HSBC Insurance Creative Notes and free concerts such as the popular Swire Symphony under the Stars, and regular broadcasts and telecasts. Outside of Hong Kong, the HKPO has made a number of critically acclaimed tours in Asia and Europe.
The 2011/12 season will mark Maestro Edo de Waart’s eighth and final season with the HKPO. Apart from his own series of five special programmes which are summaries of his achievements with the Orchestra over the last seven years, ending with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the new season will also attract a stellar cast of great artists and guest conductors.
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre
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