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Jaap van Zweden Named Conductor of the Year

I don’t quite get how Musical America can name the Conductor of the Year 2012 when it’s only November 3, 2011. But they’ve done it. And our own Jaap van Zweden nabs the honor. Full release after the jump. Willard Spiegelman wrote for us last year about Van Zeden’s celebrity power. In 2008, Glenn Arbery wrote about how Van Zweden changed the sound of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Here are pics of pad at the Ritz-Carlton. Here’s a Q&A I did in 2009 with his delightful daughter, Anna-Sophia.

And now, my dear FrontBurnervian, you are fully Jaaped.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Maestro Jaap van Zweden Named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year 2012

Prestigious Award to be Presented at New York’s Carnegie Hall

DALLAS, TX (Nov. 3, 2011) — The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) proudly announced today that the prestigious Musical America has named DSO Music Director Jaap van Zweden its Conductor of the Year Award 2012. He has been awarded this honor for his critically acclaimed work with the DSO and for the excellence of his music-making, both in Dallas and as guest conductor with some of the nation’s most prestigious orchestras.

“This great award from Musical America comes at a thrilling time in the Dallas Symphony’s development,” said van Zweden. “Dallas musicians have been inspired by the sense of civic pride invested in their work, and that in turn inspires me to work even harder and give my absolute best. This recognition is not only a wonderful honor for us all, but demonstrates the opportunity DSO presents to Dallas.”

“We knew when Jaap joined the Dallas Symphony Orchestra four years ago that we had brought to Dallas a very rare and valuable artistic talent,” said Blaine L. Nelson, DSO Board Chairman. “Jaap has inspired the orchestra to new artistic heights, bringing national and international acclaim to the DSO from patrons and music critics alike.”

“This confirms what we already knew in Dallas, that we are incredibly fortunate to have a Music Director of Jaap’s caliber,” added Nelson. “We, along with the Dallas community, eagerly anticipate each of Jaap’s energetic and artistically challenging performances, which have vaulted the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to a place among the best in the nation.”

Chris Adkins, Orchestra Committee Chair, said, “Jaap’s vision, vitality and searing conviction have elevated the orchestra to a new level, bringing international quality to our performances. His passion, along with the incredible depth of his music-making, has been the inspiration for all of us. He engenders a wonderful relationship between conductor, orchestra and audience.”

Jaap debuted with the DSO in 2006 and began his tenure as Music Director at the start of the 2008-2009 season. In addition to his position with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, he is chief conductor and artistic director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras and chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra of Belgium.

“This honor for Jaap reaffirms what every audience member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was aware of — that he is an inspiring leader and unparalleled artist,” said City of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “He has contributed greatly to Dallas’ reputation as a growing international cultural center.”

Jaap will formally receive the Conductor of the Year 2012 Award in New York at Carnegie Hall on December 5. Jaap is a highly sought after guest conductor, having worked with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, Gothenburg Symphony, WDR Symphony Cologne, Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Tokyo Philharmonic, among others.

About Jaap van Zweden

Jaap van Zweden is in his fourth season as music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, his commitment to the orchestra recently extended. Under his direction, the orchestra is enhancing its programming and community outreach initiatives; continuing to champion and commission new composers; revitalizing its commitment to music education; and raising its national profile through such events as the annual residency in Vail, CO, and a 2011 appearance in the inaugural Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall. Concurrently with his post in Dallas, van Zweden’s other titled positions include chief conductor and artistic director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras (2005-2012) and chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra of Belgium (2008-2012).

Van Zweden has become a highly sought-after guest conductor since his Dallas Symphony introduction to U.S. audiences in 2007. He has worked with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, Gothenburg Symphony, WDR Symphony Cologne, Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Tokyo Philharmonic, among others. Future plans include debuts with the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony, and return visits to the Philadelphia, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and London Philharmonic Orchestras, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, Orchestre National de France, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. In August 2011, van Zweden will also make his BBC Proms debut with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.

Apart from an extensive symphonic repertoire, opera also plays an important part in van Zweden’s career. His opera repertoire includes La Traviata and Fidelio (National Reisopera in Holland), Madama Butterfly (Netherlands Opera), and concert performances of Otello, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Lohengrin, Parsifal and Vanessa.

A prolific recording artist, van Zweden has released three recordings with the Dallas Symphony on the DSO’s recording label DSOLive! — Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh Symphonies; Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and Capriccio italien; and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and Suite No. 4, Mozartiana. He has also recently recorded Mozart Piano Concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra and David Fray for Virgin/EMI. Van Zweden has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague for Philips; Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic; Mahler Symphony No. 5 (recorded live at his London Philharmonic debut); and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. He has also recorded the Brahms symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, with whom he is currently recording a Bruckner cycle for Octavia, with symphonies 2, 4, 5, 7 and 9 already released to great critical acclaim.

Having joined the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as concertmaster at age 19, van Zweden spent the next sixteen years inspired and mentored by Solti, Haitink, Giulini, Harnoncourt and Bernstein. With Berstein’s encouragement, the Juilliard-trained violinist began studying conducting in the Netherlands and performed as violinist and conductor with several orchestras between 1994 and 1997. In 1997, van Zweden made his decision to conduct full time, played his last concert as a violinist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and was named the chief conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until 2003. In 2000, he added the music directorship of the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague to his credits, a post he held until 2005.

Originally from the Netherlands, van Zweden entered The Juilliard School in New York at age 16, as a student of Dorothy DeLay. Van Zweden is very committed to bringing awareness and acceptance to the cause of autism, and in the Netherlands