Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Maestro Jaap van Zweden - New HKPO's Music Director

[16 January 2012 – Hong Kong] After a two-year search, the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Maestro Jaap van Zweden as the Orchestra’s Music Director for four years, starting with the 2012/13 season. Maestro van Zweden, Musical America’s Conductor of the Year for 2012, will succeed the outgoing Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Edo de Waart.

“It is a tremendous step forward for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra to be joined by one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. When Maestro van Zweden steps onto the HKPO podium, there is immediate excitement from the orchestra and the audiences alike,” said Mr Y.S. Liu, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society and of the Music Director Search Committee. “We salute Maestro van Zweden’s artistic leadership, and entrust in him not only the future development of the orchestra, but also that of Hong Kong’s cultural advancement.”

“I can’t tell you how thrilled and honoured I am to be appointed Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra,” said Maestro van Zweden. “This is an ensemble of 90 talented musicians which possesses great musicality as well as potential. It deserves its reputation as one of the best in Asia. My work as Music Director will go beyond the concert stage, and include what I think are essential elements for the growth of the Orchestra, such as the education program and advocacy for a world-class home for us in the West Kowloon Cultural District. I am very excited about the upcoming season we are planning, and I believe there is a great future ahead of us.”

Maestro Edo de Waart, current Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Orchestra, offered his congratulations and said, “I am very happy with the appointment of my fellow Dutchman Jaap van Zweden as my successor. He is a wonderful musician who I am sure will bring the Hong Kong Philharmonic to new heights. I wish him and the Orchestra all the best.”

Michael MacLeod, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra said, “Those who witnessed the four awe-inspiring concerts that Maestro van Zweden conducted last November know he is a musician of the highest calibre. His work with the Orchestra has been truly inspirational. His appointment is the best direction for the Orchestra and I would like to extend my warmest welcome to the Maestro, on behalf of the musicians and administration.”

Maestro van Zweden, currently Music Director Designate of the Orchestra, will officially assume the role of Music Director on 1 August 2012 and perform his inaugural performances on 28/29 September 2012 in the National Day Celebration concerts at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

*photo by Chow Yu Young

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