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Jaap van Zweden appointed head of the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra

Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden will be the next musical director of the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, on September 1, 2026, after six years in New York, Radio France announced on Tuesday.

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Jaap van Zweden appointed head of the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra

Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden will be the next musical director of the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, on September 1, 2026, after six years in New York, Radio France announced on Tuesday.

Jaap van Zweden, 63, appointed by Radio France boss Sibyle Veil, “ends this year his mandates as musical director of the New York Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and takes the helm of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra », Indicates a press release from the institution.

At Radio France, he will succeed the Finn Mikko Franck, and, “from the 2025-2026 season, he will be designated musical director (he begins his collaboration, without officially having the title, Editor's note), with four weeks of presence in Paris and in tour” in Europe, Radio France further specifies.

“I cannot be happier than to go to France, to Paris, to begin this relationship (...) and (to) rediscover this musical color which speaks to my heritage, that of the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, an orchestra European,” says the maestro, quoted in the press release.

Radio France said it appreciated “its attachment to creation, to the development of new audiences and its commitment to supporting children with disabilities”.

The violinist, known for his mastery of the classical repertoire, became a conductor late in life, after 17 years as concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. It was the legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein who encouraged him to take up the baton.

He then conducted in several countries, before becoming musical director of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, then the Hong Kong, New York and Seoul Philharmonics.

According to Radio France, in New York, Jaap van Zweden led “an intense policy of creating new works”, which he “is delighted to continue” in France, in particular by exploring “the French contemporary music scene”. 25 years ago, the Dutchman created the Papageno Foundation with his wife to support children with disabilities.

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