Van Zweden brings a different outlook to Philadelphia Orchestra

Posted on: November 4, 2010

In Thursday’s (11/4) Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns writes, “Eugene Ormandy may be fidgeting in his grave. He spent 41 years in front of the Philadelphia Orchestra cultivating a lush, voluptuous standard of Rachmaninoff performances, and now guest conductor Jaap van Zweden arrives this week to conduct Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 with polar-opposite ideas. … Not that he’s anti-emotion. ‘There’s something above emotions, and that’s beauty,’ he said Tuesday backstage at the Kimmel Center, where he’ll conduct Rachmaninoff Thursday through Saturday. Explaining this, he compares Mahler and Bruckner: The former funneled his personal angst into his music, while the latter had little existential doubt and concentrated on beauty. ‘If Mahler had lived, that would’ve been his next step, to get rid of emotion. That’s related to the ego, and ego is what we finally have to lose in life.’ Though not an iconoclast, van Zweden, 50, developed his severe musical cosmology over 16 years as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s concertmaster, playing great repertoire under only the greatest conductors before devoting himself to conducting just 14 years ago.” Van Zweden is music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Posted November 4, 2010