Amid the relief of finding someone competent who actually wanted the job, no-one seems to have asked how Matthew Van Besien was doing at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and why he wanted to get out after less than two years in the job.
Not that great, I hear. The MSO has been relocated to the Town Hall while its home gets a makeover and subscriptions have plummeted. There is no music director, and none in prospect. Tadaaki Otaka does duty as principal guest. Morale is down.
Van Besien is described by friends of mine as a tough negotiator, but ‘very personable’. Also ‘very ambitious’. Perhaps it will take a while for his efforts to bear fruit.
His wife, who is English, was working in Perth in the oil industry.
Here’s a corny posed pic from The Australian.