Roth, Harding and Van Zweden join Concertgebouw shortlist

Roth, Harding and Van Zweden join Concertgebouw shortlist


norman lebrecht

October 02, 2018

The following conductors have agreed to take over Daniele Gatti’s scheduled concerts with the C’bouw in January, February and March 2019 – Bernard Haitink, François-Xavier Roth, Daniel Harding and Jaap van Zweden.

That puts the last three automatically on the list of contenders to succeed the sacked Gatti.

Concert details here.



  • Barinkay says:

    Well… van Zweden is just starting his tenure in NYC, Harding prefers flying, so why not Roth ?

  • Pedro says:

    Haitink is really incredible. He is conducting in Amsterdam on January 24, 25 and 27 and in Salzburg on the 26th ( the Vienna Philharmonic in a Mozart programme )!

  • Don Ciccio says:

    Alas, Harding will be the leading the orchestra in the U.S tour. Last time I heard him he accomplished what I thought was never possible: to make the Dresden Staatskapelle boring.

    P.S. – and unrelated: R.I.P. Charles Aznavour.

    • V.Lind says:

      Indeed re Aznavour. Funny which non-classical artists rate a mention around here and which don’t. Doesn’t seem to reflect what is generally indisputable greatness.

  • RW2013 says:

    And why is this one, with her profound insights and her unmistakable conducting style, not on the shortlist?

  • anon says:

    It’s usually on tour that ties are forged and bonds are made, where the conductor is put to the test in a trial by fire, I wouldn’t be surprised if Harding emerged as the front runner after the tour if it proved successful.

  • Nick2 says:

    JvZ is also contracted to the Hong Kong Philharmonic until summer 2022. Having just completed a full Ring cycle recorded on Naxos with that orchestra, it is unlikely he would ditch it now. But as the youngest ever concertmaster at the Concertgebouw, there will surely be enthusiasm for that post were he to be offered it.

  • Daphne Badger says:

    Norman, you know full well that if a conductor has already worked with an orchestra, then they will either be on the ‘shortlist’ already or not. Standing in for a cancellation will not change that. So your headline is meaningless. Quelle surprise…

    • Hanna Nahan says:

      I heard that they only invite Van Zweden because he’s Dutch and they feel they have to… He really has no European profile. I’d pick F-X Roth out of these names for sure. There’s a real musician!

      • Robert Groen says:

        Would it be impolite to ask where you heard that Van Zweden was only put on the shortlist ‘because they have to’ ? And while you’re at it (and without prejudice to the man himself) are you suggesting that Francois-Xavier Roth is the only ‘real musician’ on this shortlist?

        • Orchestra Musician says:

          I spent the summer playing chamber music concerts with a titled player in the C’bouw orchestra who was very willing to say that the musicians, at least, want absolutely nothing to do with JvZ. Management may have a different idea — I don’t know how the euro orchestras work in terms of that — but in many ways the NYP players didn’t necessarily want much to do with him either.

          • John Borstlap says:

            Another bag of nonsense….. The NYP players were insisting on choosing JvZw after he had worked with them a couple of times and the collaboration clicked very well. As for the KCO players: in every orchestra there are players with their personal likes and dislikes, and surely they don’t represent the orchestra as a whole, also if they would like to give that impression. And then there is the usual jealousy that a former player of the orchestra finds a career higher-up.

      • MacroV says:

        I could also see them saying they’d never deign to invite a former player (even a CM) to guest conduct, much less make music director (a prophet going without honor in his homeland, etc.). I’m not necessarily a big fan of JvZ, but I have a hard time believing they would invite him out of a sense of obligation.

      • Meal says:

        I totally agree that FXR is a very fine musician. But to my mind he has also some serious weaknesses in the German repertoire. His most recent concert with Mahler 3 got a modest review (for good reasons). Compare his recording of Mahler 5 with the Gürzenich Orchestra to the recording of the same Orchestra and Markus Stenz as conductor. It is not bad but it does not touch the soul. The same feeling emerged to me when I listened to his concerts with Bruckner symphonies. I remember well when he conducted Beethoven’s 5th faster than the orchstra could or was willing to follow in July this year. On the other hand I remember also very fine concerts with him conducting Debussy, Mendelssohn, Messiaen and others. I also like his recordings with Les Sciècles although did not have the chance to listen to this orchestra live yet.

  • Ben says:

    JvZ, seriously????????? He’s like a Barenboim to me … done nothing wrong, done little right. He’s a living example of how few *capable* time-beaters are out there, and the toxic buddy system in place (created by the agencies) to make access to prestigious gags so exclusive.

    But I have to give him credit to have the gut to program The Ring in HK. It is brilliant mixed bag.

    P.S. How come Mirga isn’t on the radar? 🙂

    • John Borstlap says:

      What a bag of nonsense….. Barenboim is a great conductor in Wagner, Beethoven and Brahms, as JvZw is (who is also ideal with Bruckner). For more showy hairdo’s, better go to Mirga.

  • David Taylor says:

    Just imagine: If Jaap took the Concertgebouw he’d have a foot in Europe, America and Asia. That would be unprecedented!!

  • Frank Teunissen says:

    FX Roth did a fantastic Bruckner 3 (1873 version!) and 8 (in combination with Lachenmann!) with Gürzenich. Watch his recent Berliner concert with Debussy’s Images combined with Ligeti’s Lontano and Atmospheres; this adventurous programming would help the Concertgebouworkest strongly
    If Concertgebouworkest is looking for a fantastic PR-motor AND musician….Hannigan. Yes, she ‘lacks’ experience in the late romantic oeuvre but till the moment she has got more acquainted with e.g. Mahler and Bruckner there are alternative guest conductors who can fill that ‘gap’. But Hannigan can, and will, bring SO much to the orchestra, like youth, vitality, new music, connection to more public besides her enormous musicality (+ she is a woman…); all these things could make her the ideal candidate for an inspiring future.

  • Katalin says:

    Why not Gergely Madaras?