Rochester, N.Y. – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Directors voted Wednesday night to cut short its contract with popular music director Arild Remmereit.
He is now scheduled to finish out the 2012-2013 season and leave two years before his contract’s end date.
Board members told 13WHAM that Remmereit, while a fan favorite, clashed with RPO’s president, Charlie Owens, forcing them to take remedial action.
Chairperson Elizabeth Rice did not speak to why the contract was terminated, but said it had nothing to do with money.
“There are times we change leadership,” Rice said. “We have a good relationship with the musicians and we will come out of this just fine.”
RPO recently faced a $700,000 budget deficit, stoking fears of dissolution.
When Remmereit was paraded in last year, the Norwegian conductor was touted as big get for Rochester.
On Thursday, his departure was described by some as a relief of sorts.
“Sounds to me like it was a healthy move in response to a series of internal struggles that needed to be addressed to promote the health of the organization,” said Sarah Lentini, president of Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester.
The RPO said all concerts are still on as they look for a replacement.