After four years at the helm of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Oleg Caetani has stepped down from his role as artistic director and chief conductor - more than a year before his tenure was due to conclude. The Italian, who took up the post in January 2005, was scheduled to conduct performances in November and December this year and engaged for six weeks of performances in 2010.
According to a press statement Caetani “has been released early to pursue further opportunities overseas”. MSO director of artistic planning Huw Humphreys told The Australian his departure was “absolutely amicable”. His 2010 engagements had been restricted by “planning and scheduling difficulties” associated with the refurbishment of Hamer Hall, the Melbourne Symphony’s main concert venue.
Caetani’s remaining 2009 dates will now be filled by Finnish conductor Leif Segerstam and incoming principal guest conductor Tadaaki Otaka. The MSO will begin the search for a new principal “in due course”.