Where’s Jaap? Not in America

Where’s Jaap? Not in America


norman lebrecht

November 16, 2020

The Dutch conductor Jaap Van Zweden was meant to be celebrating his 60th birthday next month with the Dallas Symphony, which once paid him $5 million in a single year.

Dallas has now cancelled those concerts due to Covid.

The New York Philharmonic, where Jaap is now music director, is out of action until September 2021 at the earliest.

Jaap was last seen conducting in Hong Kong.

Probably best to send those birthday cards to Holland.


  • Fred Funk says:

    Obviously, you don’t know Jaap.

  • mary says:

    Where’s Jaap?

    Obviously way too much in your head.

  • yujafan says:

    I wouldn’t waste a card or money on postage, let alone an email, on that man

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Can someone please help me understand the point of this blogpost?

    • Edgar says:

      Methinks it is a post for those moments when one feels a bit bored, like I do at the moment, and then has a look at this or any other blog with non-news to comment on since there isn’t a concert or opera venue to go to for a live performance (usually I listen with eyes shut to prevent Regietheater ruining the experience, or making me feel I am a dimwit because I haven’t read the director’s dissertation on the piece staged).

      Off to the hardware store now. I suddenly remembered what I wanted to buy there; it came to me while writing.

      Funny, that.


    • Anon. says:

      Quite agree.

  • Ivan says:

    This is why people have bad opinion on music critics.

  • Derek Pegg says:

    Have thumbs up/down activities been banned now in SD ?
    They were useful metrics of the BS being encountered

    • Paul A Wells says:

      (Thumbs up)

    • Tamino says:

      thumbs up

    • EMore says:

      Yes….Where are the thumbs up and down? Surely, without this…this site loses some of the fun interaction that it needs to survive. Bring back the thumbs!

    • BruceB says:

      Meh… The thumbs-up or -down votes were fun, but I found them to be pretty pointless ever since people learned how to game the system. (In case anyone missed it: click the thumbs-up — or down — icon, then refresh the page, then click it again. Repeat until you have given yourself 50 up-votes, or someone else 50 downs. It was obvious when it happened: most comments on a post would have relatively few up- or down-votes, and one comment would have 60.)

      I sort of prefer the new way: if you want to express approval or disapproval, you have to make a comment and use words — even if it’s just the words “thumbs up.”

  • Melisandel says:

    Jaap van Zweden’s compassion with his orchestras as the musicians are far less blessed during the lasting pandemic.
    But perhaps the outside world doesn’t know about his silent welldoings.

  • Mark says:

    Dallas paid him 5$ millionfor a year ? Ah how the Dutch know how take money. . not so good at spending ! Dallas management rather stupid

    • John Borstlap says:

      With all the nasty comments on vZweden’s income it should not be forgotten that he has invested in a hughe program in the Netherlands to support the education and music therapies of autistic children, including a large building where a regular group of youths is housed and be prepared for an independent existence. This an entirely private enterprise and unique for the country.

      “In 1997, Jaap van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje, established the Papageno Foundation, the objective being to support families of children with autism. Over the years, that support has taken shape through a number of programs in which professional music therapists and musicians, receiving additional training from Papageno, use music as a major tool in their work with autistic children. Papageno House, a new home for autistic young adults and children, was opened in Laren, the Netherlands, in August 2015, with Queen Máxima in attendance.”


      The initiative branched-out as well:

      Music therapy to treat children with autism

      “After their child was diagnosed with autism, Aaltje van Buuren and her husband Jaap van Zweden decided to launch the Papageno Foundation. Established in the Netherlands in 1997, the foundation focuses on the development of children and young people with autism. The American Friends of Stichting Papageno made a $90,000 grant for a music app and music therapy workshops specifically suited for children with autism.”


  • JB says:

    There is a virtual NY Phil Gala this week. Will he participate from abroad ?

    • Don Ciccio says:

      I just got an email from the New York Philharmonic which confirms that, indeed, Jaap van Zweden will participate to the gala.

  • Nick says:

    Better NOT to send the cards altogether!! He dose not deserve that!

  • sabrinensis says:

    Why is/was Jaap worth five million dollars/