Hong Kong Phil director quits early
20th Jul 2010
Gig news staff
So Hau-leung has resigned as chief executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO). The 62-year-old, a member of the orchestra’s board of governors since 2002, only took up the post in May 2009.
So will continue in post until mid-November. According to a brief statement from the HKPO, he has chosen to step down ‘to pursue other interests’. The statement also said that board chairman YS Liu regretted So’s decision and ‘expresses his thanks to him for his contributions’. So’s one-year tenure in the role is the shortest in HKPO’s history, since it became a professional orchestra in 1974.
In the opinion of the orchestra's first associate concertmaster Leung Kin-fung, So was ‘probably too tired’ to continue in the role. ‘There are so many things happening in the orchestra, such as cancellations of soloists and, most of all, the search for the next artistic director,’ he told the South China Morning Post. The news follows music director Edo de Waart’s announcement in March that he would also be standing down in 2012.
A classically trained pianist, So had also advised the orchestra on all areas of management from marketing, fundraising, finance to artistic programming before taking up his current position. He also served on the development committee for the West Kowloon Cultural District from 2006 to 2007. At the time, Liu stated, ‘I am confident that Edo and Hau-leung will work together to help put the orchestra firmly on the local, regional and international artistic map.’
The HKPO Society will begin an international search for So’s successor immediately.