Nézet-Séguin and van Zweden assess their first seasons at their new organizations

Posted on: July 1, 2019

During the 2018-19 season, “new music directors took the reins at the New Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera at the same time,” writes Michael Cooper in Sunday’s (6/30) New York Times, in an interview with Jaap van Zweden, music director of the New York Philharmonic, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who became music director of the Metropolitan Opera while remaining music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Q: How do you want to put your personal stamps on these storied orchestras? Nézet-Séguin: At the Met, I talk often with them about enhancing the vocabulary … a different kind of attack on the note, a different kind of blend…. Explore all the possibilities. Q: What were your most gratifying artistic moments this season? Van Zweden: … The piece Julia Wolfe wrote, ‘Fire in my mouth’ … had … almost 150 young ladies coming in singing, walking into the hall, and participating with all of us—that was an amazing moment for me. Q: Was there something this season that’s going to inform the way you plan your future seasons? Van Zweden: We did ‘Phil the Hall’ [concerts with inexpensive tickets for city workers].… Saying to people, ‘Please come in and see what’s happening here,’ is very important.”

Posted July 1, 2019

In photo: Yannick Nézet-Séguin, left, with Jaap van Zweden at Lincoln Ristorante. Photo by George Etheredge for The New York Times