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Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra Appoints Jaap van Zweden as Music Director

The Dutch conductor will step down from his current positions with the New York Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic at the end of the 2023/24 season

 

The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France recently announced that outgoing New York Philharmonic conductor Jaap van Zweden will be its next Music Director. He will step into the post at the opening of the 2025/26 season, at which point he will succeed Mikko Franck — who has led the orchestra for the past decade.

Originally a violinist, van Zweden studied with Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School. He was appointed concertmaster of Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra when he was just 18 years old and stayed in that role for the next 16 years.

Van Zweden began conducting full-time in 1997, having studied with Leonard Bernstein. His first Music Directorship was with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and he was later appointed to the same position at the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

In 2022, he was appointed Music Director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

Van Zweden's tenure with the New York Philharmonic began in September 2018. His six-season stint with the orchestra is the shortest of any NY Phil Music Director since Pierre Boulez (1971-77).

"I could not be happier about inaugurating this relationship with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France," van Zweden said in a statement. "In Paris, I can experience anew the musical colors familiar to me from Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, another great European orchestra."

"From the first rehearsal, it was clear that we had just found our new musical director," said Jean-Pierre Odasso, president of the musicians’ council. "His appointment is a real joy for musicians and is part of the work undertaken with the leading musical figures who have held this position, Marek Janowski, Myung-Whun Chung, and Mikko Franck."

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