Jaap dumps agent, again

Jaap dumps agent, again


norman lebrecht

July 01, 2019

There was music-biz consternation 18 months ago when Jaap Van Zweden, newly installed at the New York Philharmonic, fired the agent who lined up the deal, dumping Nick Mathias at IMG for Doug Sheldon at Columbia.

His departure left a huge hole in IMG finances and a big smile at Columbia.


Then Doug Sheldon disappeared. Columbia reassured its artists that nothing would change without him.

Jaap was not convinced.

He is now moving, or so we hear, to Michael Lewin in Vienna, alongside Kirill Petrenko, Philippe Jordan and Simone Young.

Columbia are hurting bad.

Jaap could be eyeing up a job in Europe, Amsterdam and Munich being the prime targets.




  • Cantantelirico says:

    The world is not enough.

  • anon says:

    1) How may conductors make more than $1 million a year? 15 or so? So the competition must be super tough to get one of them as a client.

    2) It’d be interesting for someone publish the list of major conductors and their agents.

    3) Which begs the question, why would anyone get into classical music to be an agent?

    • Nick2 says:

      With the Hong Kong Phil contract running through to summer 2022 alongside his NYPO contract and various prestige guest engagements, my guess is that his annual earnings must be closer to $2 million.

  • Jon H says:

    When Muti finishes, Jaap should go to Chicago. The Wagner concert was exceptional.

    • MacroV says:

      He won’t go to Chicago, too soon to move. And the CSO demands a superstar. My bet (without any inside knowledge whatsoever) is they go after one of two people who have the gravitas, but if asked today would insist they have absolutely no interest in a US job (just as Muti did): Sir Simon or Christian Thielemann. Maybe Chailly, too.

    • John Borstlap says:

      He is a wonderful Wagner conductor. His concert performance of Parsifal is outstanding:




    • ML says:

      Zweden has been to Chicago for a long time, first as substitute for an ailing Chailly–that is when Zweden’s journey to MD of first-tier orchestra really took off. Then he got his own subscription concerts, most of which were really good (like Shostakovich). The more recent ones are a bit disappointing (Brahms requiem) or have lapsed a bit in tight ensemble (Tchaikovsky #5). It will be great if Chicago can have Zweden or Bychkov succeed Muti.

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    Not related to this article, but only to record that JvZ was last May the recipient of the Bruckner Society of America medal for efforts supporting the performance of Bruckner’s music. JvZ upon receiving the medal reportedly commented that if there is a path to heaven Bruckner has illuminated it through his music.

  • Edgar says:

    Hmmm. Amsterdam or Munich, succeeding Mariss Jansons (who indeed urgentlyneeds replacement at the helm of the BRSO). In addition to Hong Kong and New York? Jaap better take good care of his health, and avoid burns either by heat or ice in the future.

    Other than God conductors are omnipresent….

  • Dean says:

    It’s just my opinion, but an absolute ‘no’ to him here in Chicago. We had Solti; there’s no need for an imitator.