Philharmonic's manager quits

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 April, 2002, 12:00am

The general manager of the Hong Kong Philharmonic has announced she is leaving after 13 years with the orchestra, but stressed her resignation had nothing to do with the group's controversial musical director.

Edith Lei Mei-lon tendered her resignation last month after she decided not to have her contract renewed. The news was revealed to the orchestra's 89 members on a notice board at the group's office on Wednesday.

'The reason is purely personal,' Ms Lei said. 'I want to spend more time with my family. I've been with the orchestra for 13 years and it's time for me to take a break and do something else.'

Ms Lei said her decision was unrelated to the earlier controversy surrounding musical director Samuel Wong, who has sacked 15 musicians and seen 19 others quit since he joined the orchestra in late 2000. In February, some musicians expressed dissatisfaction over Mr Wong, saying the orchestra's standards had dropped since he took up the post.

Ms Lei said: 'I don't have any problem with Samuel. I'm very flexible.'

Ms Lei, who has to consult Mr Wong over the negotiation of musicians' contracts, defended Mr Wong against his critics.

'I don't think the orchestra's standard has dropped . . . Some musicians had personal reasons for their leaving other than for what was reported in the media.'

The orchestra today placed adverts in newspapers, including the South China Morning Post, to seek a replacement for Ms Lei.