Isle maestro to leave
Hong Kong post

By Tim Ryan

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra music director Samuel Wong, who is also music director of the Honolulu Symphony, will step down from his post next July at the end of his three-year contract.

A native of Hong Kong, Wong joined the Hong Kong orchestra as music director in September 2000.

During the 2002-03 season, Wong will conduct the orchestra for another 16 weeks, including his farewell concert with pianist Stanislav Ioudenitch in July. According to news reports, since Wong took over from David Atherton, the orchestra has been mired in controversy over his leadership.

Musical America, a weekly newspaper covering drama, music and the arts, said philharmonic spokesman Paul Tam declined to give a reason for Wong's departure, saying it was the result of private negotiations between the general committee of the orchestra and Wong.

The South China Morning Post reported that 15 musicians have been sacked and 19 have resigned from the 89-member ensemble since Wong was appointed; many players complained about Wong's management style and the orchestra's falling musical standards.

Among those who left were three section principals -- viola, flute and oboe -- and two assistant principals -- cello and oboe. Wong and the orchestra administration have attributed the turnover to changes as the orchestra grew in stature.

The Philharmonic refused to comment on whether Wong's departure has anything to do with musicians' complaints.

Wong, a former New York Philharmonic assistant conductor, recently renewed his contract for two years as music director of the Honolulu Symphony for more than $140,000 a year.

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.

E-mail to Features Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Calendars]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --