In December, shortly after the January/February 2022 issue of Limelight went to the printer, the Chairman of theSydney Symphony Orchestra, Geoff Wilson, announced that Emma Dunch had left her role as Chief Executive Officer two years before the end of her contract. Her departure followed news that two reports had raised serious concerns about the leadership of the SSO.

Comings and Goings

Australian-born Dunch joined the SSO in January 2018 as CEO and led the orchestra at a difficult time due to the pandemic and venue disruption while the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House was refurbished.

In 2018, when the SSO knew it would have to move out of the Concert Hall in 2020, Dunch warned Create NSW and the Australia Council that it could face insolvency. The state government agreed to give the orchestra $10 million across two payments to cover its projected losses, but Dunch’s assertive lobbying is said to have disenfranchised members of the arts bureaucracy. Thefirst $5 million...