Jacques Zoon studied at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam with Koos Verheul and Harrie Starreveld, and subsequently with Geoffrey Gilbert at the Bannf Center for the Arts, Canada. He began his professional career with the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Residentie Orchestra, The Hague before becoming principal flute of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, in 1988, under their new principal conductor Riccardo Chailly. Concurrently, between 1989 and 1997, he was solo flautist of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, appearing with such conductors as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Claudio Abbado (who invited him also to the Berlin Philharmonic as guest principal). In 1997 he was appointed principal flute of the Boston Symphony Orchestra: during his time there he appeared with the orchestra in Mozart’s G major flute concerto (under Seiji Ozawa) and Bernstein’s Halil (under Bernard Haitink), and was named Musician of the Year by the Boston Globe. Since 2004, alongside a growing portfolio of solo and chamber music engagements, he has been the principal flautist of the Mozart Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, both conducted by Abbado.
As a soloist and chamber musician he has made various recordings for Philips, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Vanguard Classics, Schwann-Koch, Pony Canyon, Boston Records and NM-Classics (an Edison prizewinning recording of Dutch contemporary repertoire for flute and piano). During the past decade he has been increasingly active in the area of historically informed performance, recording the Mozart concertos with Boston Baroque to wide critical acclaim.
Much in demand as a teacher, Jacques Zoon has held positions at the Rotterdam Conservatory (1988-94), Indiana University (1994-7) and Boston University and the New England Conservatory (1997-2001). On returning to Europe he taught at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule in Berlin before taking up his present post as professor of flute at the Geneva Conservatory in 2002. Since 2008 he has also been professor at the international institute of chamber music at the Queen Sofía Conservatory of Music, Madrid.