The New York Times has named conductors Jaap van Zweden and Manfred Honeck as the two ‘leading contenders’ to replace Alan Gilbert, as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic – at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.
Maestro Van Zweden, 55 currently serves as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic – and Maestro Manfred Honeck, 57 Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
The story, published on January 22nd, has also reported that Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, who currently serves as the Philharmonic’s Composer-in-Residence and previously served as Principal Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has officially ruled himself out of contention.
Alan Gilbert has served the Music Director of the orchestra since 2009 and announced in February last year he would step down from the position at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.
The London Symphony Orchestra has in recently months appointed Sir Simon Rattle to their Principal position, the Berlin Philharmonic – Kirill Petrenko, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra – Andreas Nelson.
The Los Angles Philharmonic has also, since the vacancy was announced, extended the Music Directorship contract of Gustavo Dudamel through until 2022.
“I’m very happy with the way my life is at the moment, and it took me many years to shape it, so it would take a lot for me to abandon this type of life,” Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen has reportably told The Times.
The New York Philharmonic, Maestro van Zweden and Honeck have all declined requests for comment.