Headless in Seattle as maestro quits by mailNews
The Seattle Symphony has been shocked by the snap decision of its Danish music director Thomas Dausgaard to ‘step away’ from his position with immediate effect. Dausgaard resigned by email from his Danish base two days after returning from Seattle concerts.
The official reason given is the pandemic and its associated travel difficulties.
LATE UPDATE: Dausgaard says: ‘I felt threatened’
Seattle flashed out a fluffy press release:
SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Symphony honors Thomas Dausgaard, whose defining 12-year partnership alongside the Symphony comes to a close with the announcement today of his decision to step away from his role as its Music Director, ahead of his originally planned final season in 2022/2023. Dausgaard, who appeared regularly as a guest conductor since 2010 and became Principal Guest Conductor in 2014, began his tenure as Music Director of the Seattle Symphony in 2019. Dausgaard’s collaboration with the Symphony for over a decade has earned widespread acclaim, marked by innovative programming, championing of music by composers of today and Grammy-nominated recordings.
Of the decision to now step away from the music directorship, Dausgaard said, “For more than a decade, I’ve cherished my partnership with the inspired, collaborative musicians of the Seattle Symphony and with the wonderful community that we serve. The great people of Seattle are truly among the world’s most engaged, enthusiastic audiences and each concert experience with them has been deeply rewarding.
“There are no words to express the joy I experienced making music together with the orchestra in November, when we were reunited after 19 months apart. The homecoming — after so many months of pandemic-related travel restrictions — was quite something, and I will forever cherish that moment. The global challenges of these years have impacted each of us, our beloved Seattle Symphony and all of society. After much reflection, I have made the decision to step away from my role as Music Director of the Seattle Symphony.
“My partnership with Seattle has been rewarding beyond measure. My decision to step away at this moment when we’ve realized such collective artistic success is a result of these pandemic times, which centers the question for us all: how do we value our lives? I have enjoyed immensely my life with the Seattle Symphony, and it is time for me to move on.
“I wish the very best in 2022 — and long into the future — for the Seattle Symphony and for the many individuals whose talents, generosity, engagement and friendship I will forever cherish with great fondness.”
UPDATE: Dausgaard has also ducked out of this week’s concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, where he is Chief Conductor.