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NYTimes Names DSO’s Jaap Van Zweden A Top Contender To Lead NYPhilharmonic

by Jerome Weeks 23 Jan 2016 9:03 AM

The long-awaited decision is expected later this winter. A representative of van Zweden declined to comment.


jvzIn an article about London’s Philharmonia Orchestra conductor and Finnish composer Esa Pekka-Salonen declining to be the next music director of the New York Philharmonic, The New York Times names Dallas Symphony conductor Jaap van Zweden as one of two leading contenders left. The other is Manfred Honeck, the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. It adds, though, that “dark-horse candidates have been known to emerge victorious in the orchestra’s past searches.”

The New York orchestra is currently looking for a successor to Alan Gilbert, who will be stepping down next season having served since 2009. The decision, which will come after a long search, is expected to be made this winter, the newspaper reports:

“The choice comes at a critical moment for the Philharmonic, which must raise large sums to renovate its home at David Geffen Hall and bolster its endowment; help oversee the hall’s redesign; and find ways to hold on to its audience when it is driven from the hall for an estimated two seasons once construction begins, which is currently expected to be in 2019.”

The Times says a representative for van Zweden declined to comment and Honeck was traveling and could not be reached. But reporter Michael Cooper describes the search process so far — the paper, it seems, has clearly preferred Salonen — and notes it’s brought stellar conductors from around the world to New York: “That dynamic may have helped produce memorable concerts when Mr. van Zweden led the orchestra this fall in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and when Mr. Honeck led it last spring in Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, not to mention the well-reviewed debut of Susanna Malkki in May and a highly praised concert in October led by Semyon Bychko.”