What’s behind Thomas Dausgaard’s sudden resignation as music director of Seattle Symphony

Posted on: January 12, 2022

“At his seaside home near Copenhagen, the Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard made a difficult decision: He would step down as the music director of the Seattle Symphony, effective immediately, more than a year before the end of his contract,” writes Javier C. Hernández in Tuesday’s (1/11) New York Times. “He pressed send on a resignation email on Jan. 3—blindsiding an orchestra that was expecting his arrival a few weeks later … Dausgaard, 58, had seemed a good fit for his position, which he had held just since fall 2019. But he was separated from the acclaimed orchestra for much of 2020 and 2021 because of pandemic-related travel restrictions. And he had grown increasingly frustrated by what he described in an interview as a strained relationship with the orchestra’s managers … ‘I felt personally not safe,’ Dausgaard said, providing few specifics … Jon Rosen, the chairman of the orchestra’s board, said in an interview, ‘There’s no accuracy to any allegations that there was a hostile environment or that he was, in fact, unsafe.’… Guests, including Dausgaard’s predecessor, Ludovic Morlot, will take over the concerts he was to have led … The orchestra said it would soon begin a search for a new music director.”