PaperCity Magazine

May 2018- Dallas

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Page 45 of 83

44 W hen Jaap Van Zweden turns the calendar from May to June, he will wake up to a new view, trading his Dallas Symphony Orchestra baton for one of classical music's most prestigious posts: music director of the New York Philharmonic. Van Zweden's gain is our city's loss — his replacement has yet to be named; the multi-year search continues. He will be hard to replace, for those who have seen him conduct know his style is breathtakingly intense, the epitome of strength colliding with grace. The Amsterdam-born conductor elevated the DSO to international fame when he assumed the directorship 11 years ago and has kept the momentum going, from a headline-making performance at Carnegie Hall in 2011 to leading the DSO on its first European tour in more than a decade in 2013, and founding the innovative and multidisciplinary Soluna festival in 2015. In February, before he embarked on his first tour with the New York Philharmonic (a trip to China, Japan, and Taiwan), we sat down with the maestro. Here, an inside look at the biggest moment in Jaap Van Zweden's career — and how he will pass the baton. BIG SHOES TO FILL IN NYC. I want to be humble. I want to be focused on what has yet to come. ON WHY YOU NEVER SAW ME OUT AT NIGHT. You work endlessly — every day, every hour, every minute. If you look at the great orchestras of the time, the biggest orchestras … There was a time in their history that they worked like that. And we did that here. ON GARDENING. It takes arts organizations a very long time to have not only a national, but an international profile. In Dallas, we put a lot of seed in the ground for a national profile. I think in the years to come, if things are going well — and I'm 100 percent sure that will happen — Dallas will be recognized as one of the big cities in the U.S. where the art scene is a huge thing. So, we put a seed in the ground; we did not pull the flowers out. They just grow nicely, and I think everything will be fine. IT'S LIKE PULLING TEETH. The biggest task for any conductor, of course, is to bring out the best of the players. BEING SHERLOCK. I need to be, I would say, a happy detective — to see where all the talent is. You can hear that; obviously, you know immediately. But you have to understand that all the big things in life, but also in music, they exist by the small details. So in New York I'm going to search for all the small details — to see where we can improve and where we can encourage the talent to come out. MY TRIBE. To be a good conductor is not really hard. I mean, it's not the hardest part. The hardest thing is to create a family, where nobody feels isolated and where the effort is felt throughout the orchestra as a thing we did together. DON'T BOGART ME. I hope that my successor is not going to imitate me — because it's impossible. You should do it your own way. And don't give up on the enormous talent, which this orchestra is. IF I CAN MAKE IT THERE ... New York is a little bit more, I would say, adventurous and focused … The weight will be a little bit bigger. PARTING WORDS. There are many things I'd like to say to Dallas. In the coming years, when I return here, there is one thing I can assure you: When I fly into this airport, I will always feel at home. I never felt Dallas was my second or third home, but my other home — and this is going to stay. I know that. ONWARD, MAESTRO BY CHRISTINA GEYER. ADDITIONAL REPORTING NATALIE GEMPEL. PORTRAIT BY MARK & TRACY PHOTOGRAPHY. "ALL THE BIG THINGS IN LIFE, BUT ALSO IN MUSIC, THEY EXIST BY THE SMALL DETAILS." Jaap Van Zweden — Jaap Van Zweden

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