Author Topic: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director  (Read 10836 times)

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Offline Brian

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Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« on: January 27, 2016, 07:03:49 AM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/arts/music/new-york-philharmonic-taps-jaap-van-zweden-as-its-next-maestro.html

"The New York Philharmonic announced on Wednesday that it was turning to Jaap van Zweden, an intense, exacting Dutch conductor, to be its next music director and guide it through the costly renovation of its hall, two seasons of exile and, if all goes well, a triumphant return to Lincoln Center.

"The appointment of Mr. van Zweden, 55, whose name is pronounced Yahp van ZVAY-den and who is currently the music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, ends nearly a year of speculation about who would succeed Alan Gilbert when he steps down from the position next year."

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As a Dallas resident, I've seen Jaap a few times and I've also had conversations with two DSO members about his style. He is one of our most underrated conductors for sure, a guy who brings great musical integrity to the classic repertoire. But those adjectives, "intense, exacting," are very apt: he is an old-fashioned drill sergeant in rehearsal, with a very specific vision for a work and not willing to stop until that vision is achieved. The musicians I spoke to were too polite to say anything negative about him, especially because they had deep respect for why he is the way he is and the results he achieves, but the subtext of "brilliant asshole" is there.

Which makes him part of a long, glorious tradition!

Offline Brian

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 09:39:00 AM »
During 2017-18, Jaap will be the full-time music director in New York, Dallas, AND Hong Kong. He leaves Dallas in summer 2018 and Hong Kong in summer 2019.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2016, 09:46:17 AM »
During 2017-18, Jaap will be the full-time music director in New York, Dallas, AND Hong Kong. He leaves Dallas in summer 2018 and Hong Kong in summer 2019.
It says he "will become the Philharmonic’s music director designate in the 2017-18 season, and begin his five-year contract as music director in the 2018-19 season." At the NYPO site, it explains that "As Music Director Designate in the 2017–18 season, Jaap van Zweden will conduct several weeks of concerts. As Music Director beginning in 2018–19, he will conduct the Orchestra for 12 weeks each year."

So only about half time that first year. Still, a lot to do.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2016, 09:53:02 AM »
It says he "will become the Philharmonic’s music director designate in the 2017-18 season, and begin his five-year contract as music director in the 2018-19 season." At the NYPO site, it explains that "As Music Director Designate in the 2017–18 season, Jaap van Zweden will conduct several weeks of concerts. As Music Director beginning in 2018–19, he will conduct the Orchestra for 12 weeks each year."

So only about half time that first year. Still, a lot to do.
Oh whoops, sorry. It's a lot of jobs to keep track of!

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2016, 10:30:22 AM »
So only about half time that first year. Still, a lot to do.

God help us if this becomes "the new normal."  Either that, or a Music Director leading the organization 23% of the year.  (Twelve weeks? Seriously?  Nice work, if you can get it.)

Edit
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 10:32:53 AM by karlhenning »
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2016, 10:58:57 AM »
God help us if this becomes "the new normal."  Either that, or a Music Director leading the organization 23% of the year.  (Twelve weeks? Seriously?  Nice work, if you can get it.)

Edit
Well, there must be some sort of commitment to help raise money. I imagine that will take time too. Perhaps more than the conducting?
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2016, 11:23:55 AM »
A commentary on the New Yorker website.

A further thought: when the remarkable Carlos Moseley was in charge, in the sixties and seventies, the Philharmonic pursued a consistent vision. Bernstein and Boulez were very different personalities, but they both believed in modernizing the orchestra, and took steps to achieve that goal. Since then, the Philharmonic's choices have been more reactive than purposeful. When Boulez was perceived as too cool and controlling, they picked the effusive Zubin Mehta. When Mehta was perceived as lacking in discipline, they chose the taskmaster Kurt Masur. When Masur was seen as too domineering, they went for Lorin Maazel, a minimalist in rehearsal. When Maazel was seen as too unadventurous, they chose Alan Gilbert. When Gilbert was thought to be limited in his approach to mainstream repertory, they chose van Zweden. And so on: this is an orchestra going around in circles, lacking clear direction.

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2016, 11:42:05 AM »
Maazel unadventurous? He took them to DPRK didn't he?

You know what....I think they should have chosen someone like Matthias Pintscher. I believe he currently resides in NYC and from what I can tell he's a truly brilliant conductor, better than most around.

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2016, 11:47:34 AM »
I'm currently sampling some of his stuff on Spotify......I am really liking what I'm hearing actually!

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2016, 01:17:44 PM »
Maazel unadventurous? He took them to DPRK didn't he?

You know what....I think they should have chosen someone like Matthias Pintscher. I believe he currently resides in NYC and from what I can tell he's a truly brilliant conductor, better than most around.

Well, I agree MP is very good. He has a great Pli selon pli by Boulez you can hear on YouTube, for instance. But Jaap's biggest problem, IMO, is not so much repertoire as keeping the orchestra going during a hiatus where it will no longer be playing at Philharmonic - then Avery Fisher - now David Geffen Hall. The NY Times says the renovation "will reconfigure the auditorium and update the common areas" (well, that's not the problem, the common areas are fine); another source says there will be an "extensive redesign of the building’s interior and, like the previous renovations, will aim to improve the hall’s acoustics," which are indeed the problem with a hall that for all the tweaking remains dry and uneven. That said, I doubt P-AF-DG will ever have the natural bloom of Carnegie Hall or the Met Opera (if you know where to sit), or for that matter the Rogers Auditorium at the Met Museum or Borden Hall at the Manhattan School of Music. Fingers crossed. When the NYC Opera abandoned its Lincoln Center home and started playing all over the city, that was one factor that led to its demise. I doubt that will happen to the NYPhil, but it's a challenge.
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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2016, 01:23:44 PM »
God help us if this becomes "the new normal."

It already is.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2016, 01:37:29 PM »
A commentary on the New Yorker website.

A further thought: when the remarkable Carlos Moseley was in charge, in the sixties and seventies, the Philharmonic pursued a consistent vision. Bernstein and Boulez were very different personalities, but they both believed in modernizing the orchestra, and took steps to achieve that goal. Since then, the Philharmonic's choices have been more reactive than purposeful. When Boulez was perceived as too cool and controlling, they picked the effusive Zubin Mehta. When Mehta was perceived as lacking in discipline, they chose the taskmaster Kurt Masur. When Masur was seen as too domineering, they went for Lorin Maazel, a minimalist in rehearsal. When Maazel was seen as too unadventurous, they chose Alan Gilbert. When Gilbert was thought to be limited in his approach to mainstream repertory, they chose van Zweden. And so on: this is an orchestra going around in circles, lacking clear direction.

I'm assuming this is your own commentary rather than a quote from The New Yorker. Whatever the case, it strikes home. I would have preferred Salonen myself, but I can understand why Gilbert had to go. He was a great example of someone with great ideas but not always the spark to carry them off. His semi-staged concert performances of Ligeti's Grand Macabre, Janacek's Cunning Little Vixen, and Stravinsky's Petrouchka were genuine triumphs, but the Gruppen evening at the acoustically disastrous Park Avenue Armory was a near train-wreck, and those performances I heard of standard repertoire were generally routine. Who has ever made an Alan Gilbert recording a first choice for anything? To paraphrase Archie Bunker, "Mister, we could use a man like Lenny Bernstein again."
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 01:39:34 PM by (poco) Sforzando »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2016, 04:35:17 PM »
Maazel unadventurous? He took them to DPRK didn't he?

You know what....I think they should have chosen someone like Matthias Pintscher. I believe he currently resides in NYC and from what I can tell he's a truly brilliant conductor, better than most around.

Personally, I'd like to see Edward Gardner get it at some point. I think he has honed his conducting chops now and is ready for the 'big leagues.' :) His repertoire is also quite vast: from Mendelssohn to Verdi to Janáček to Szymanowski to Lutoslawski, etc.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 04:42:24 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2016, 04:45:29 PM »
I'm assuming this is your own commentary rather than a quote from The New Yorker. Whatever the case, it strikes home. I would have preferred Salonen myself, but I can understand why Gilbert had to go. He was a great example of someone with great ideas but not always the spark to carry them off. His semi-staged concert performances of Ligeti's Grand Macabre, Janacek's Cunning Little Vixen, and Stravinsky's Petrouchka were genuine triumphs, but the Gruppen evening at the acoustically disastrous Park Avenue Armory was a near train-wreck, and those performances I heard of standard repertoire were generally routine. Who has ever made an Alan Gilbert recording a first choice for anything? To paraphrase Archie Bunker, "Mister, we could use a man like Lenny Bernstein again."

I agree. I don't think Gilbert's tenure with the NYPO was very impressive. I mean he did some interesting things which you mentioned, but I just don't think he's an aggressive enough conductor for them and all of the Gilbert recordings that I do own have been disappointing. His Nielsen cycle was completely lackluster.
“I really would like to go to Marmorkirken. It was there that I heard music for the first time, and that experience is like a heavenly vision for me.” - Rued Langgaard

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2016, 05:23:41 PM »
It already is.
And has been for some time. :(
...To paraphrase Archie Bunker, "Mister, we could use a man like Lenny Bernstein again."
Amen!  But there was no one like Lenny.
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2016, 06:09:24 PM »


Amen!  But there was no one like Lenny.

True of every great artist (not to take anything at all away from Lenny, one of the Commonwealth's favorite sons).
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Todd

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2016, 06:21:28 PM »
Pfft.  Another immigrant taking a job from an American.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2016, 06:51:04 PM »
Pfft.  Another immigrant taking a job from an American.
I can't think of any Native American conductors, can you? 8)

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2016, 06:53:05 PM »
Personally, I'd like to see Edward Gardner get it at some point. I think he has honed his conducting chops now and is ready for the 'big leagues.' :) His repertoire is also quite vast: from Mendelssohn to Verdi to Janáček to Szymanowski to Lutoslawski, etc.
I haven't yet explored Gardner's recordings. I've planned to ever since I started liking the Brits a little more......

Offline Todd

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Re: Jaap van Zweden, new NYPO director
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2016, 06:57:44 PM »
I can't think of any Native American conductors, can you? 8)






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The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations