Think of a good conductor like a great football coach -- Jaap van Zweden might be the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's version of Tom Landry.
Think of a good conductor like a great football coach -- not only do they have the right strategy, know how to motivate their teams, and bring out the best in their players, but they also attract the best talent.
In that analogy, Jaap van Zweden might be the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's version of Tom Landry. As the music director and conductor for the DSO, van Zweden is performing some of the most famous pieces -- like Beethoven's Fifth Symphony -- at the caliber usually employed by international orchestras. His guest conducting in Dallas not only introduced him to American audiences, it stunned critics and made him a well-sought guest artist for cities like LA, Philadelphia, and Chicago -- plus dozens of international cities.
His arrival in Dallas has elevated the DSO to one of the top orchestras in America. This should bode well for future performers' decisions to play with Dallas, under van Zweden's direction, rather than other orchestras. The other group most served by van Zweden's arrival are the fans. By innovating and re-interpreting the centuries old music many classical fans are familiar with, van Zweden should return the fans to their seats for another season -- and add new audience members eager to see the rising "rock star of classical music" in action.