The government's two-month delay in appointing a new board to the city's flagship orchestra has produced major logistical problems and affected the group's morale, says the orchestra's chairman-designate. Edward Ho Sing-tin, who will take up the chairmanship of the orchestra's general committee next month, said the leadership vacuum between the expiration of the committee in October and the appointment of a new one last Thursday had left behind a series of pressing issues for him and his colleagues. The delay was also frustrating for renowned Dutch maestro Edo de Waart, who took over as artistic director last September. 'I don't know who I am going to work with,' Mr Ho quoted de Waart as saying when he found the term of the board members he had been working with had suddenly ended and a new board was not in place. 'He was frustrated and was not happy.' The delay in appointing a new decision-making body could not have occurred at a worse time for the 89-member orchestra. The orchestra's chief executive, Paul Leung Sai-wah, had resigned and a replacement had yet to be advertised when the maestro returned home to bring his family to Hong Kong. It was also a time when new contracts with players were supposed to be negotiated before the February 14 deadline. The programme and funding for the 2005-06 season were also on the agenda. 'These are the pressing issues this new committee would have to deal with as soon as possible,' said Mr Ho, a former legislator who was a violinist before the Philharmonic turned professional in 1974. Mr Ho would not speculate on the cause of the delay but said he was invited to be chairman only 'a few weeks ago - and a few weeks passed after that before the official letter arrived last Thursday'. Mr Ho expressed concern over the orchestra's development in the community. 'Ticket sales have not been encouraging and a concert in Tuen Mun hall sold only 100 tickets or so,' he said. 'But I think it is unfair to link this with the new artistic leadership.' He said stability within the orchestra was the most important goal right now.