Sick-note maestro cancels unsettled Hong Kong

Sick-note maestro cancels unsettled Hong Kong


norman lebrecht

October 12, 2014

Jaap van Zweden, music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, has cancelled this week’s concerts. He has also pulled out of concerts in Dallas and Chicago due to a painful shoulder.

Van Zweden, 53, said his HK cancellation ‘has absolutely nothing to do with the protests’.

van zweeden


His replacement is Moscow’s Vasily Sinaisky.

Hong Kong last week  called off its international piano competition due to the unrest.


  • John Borstlap says:

    …… said his HK cancellation ‘has absolutely nothing to do with the protests’.

    Which is correct because he had this problem earlier. Excelling at Bruckner, Mahler, Wagner has its price.

  • Herrera says:

    It’s one thing to curtail one’s career because of injury due to one’s technique if one is a competititve athlete, but it’s altogether silly to to cut short one’s career by injury caused by one’s baton technique as a conductor!

    Van Zweden must modify his very physical conducting style. It’s not like Nadal who can’t change his very physical way of playing tennis, because that’s how he beats his opponents. But van Zweden doesn’t have to beat that hard. (Like the pun?)

    • Herrera says:

      I am a great admirer of van Zweden, so the comparison to Nadal is this: Nadal has all the talent and promise to surpass Federer in terms of tennis grand slams, but because of his physical style of playing, he’s been injured way too much. Same for van Zweden, he is on the verge of breaking through as a potential music director of a world-class ensemble, but because of his injuries, he just missed a Mahler 5 with Chicago. He can’t sustain the momentum of a career cancelling big pieces with major orchestras. Hope the maestro gets better soon and adapts a technique that is true to himself but less stressful on his rotator cuffs.

  • Michael Hurshell says:

    Attention conductors: review the styles of artists using compact gestures, like Reiner, etc. Also the wonderfully efficient (but so expressive) style of Muti in recent years. Wagner and Mahler do not necessarily lead to injuries…

    • David Murphy says:

      Absolutely – the advice from Leon Barzin which came directly from Toscanini was “only move the upper arm (i.e. involve the shoulder muscles) at moments of intensity – otherwise your body will get its revenge eventually