Dennis Kim, concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, has been fired for what the orchestra is calling “breach of contract,” the web site Musical America reports.
Music director Edo de Waart, in his first season in the post, fired Kim for auditioning for a place in an American orchestra while purportedly on sick leave.
Kim learned earlier this year that his contract would not be renewed for the 2006-07 season for reasons, according to a source, that include criticizing his colleagues and bargaining for extra performance fees.
Kim claimed, although not publicly, that his contract was not renewed because he is not Chinese (he is Korean-born and grew up in Canada).
According to Tim Canlin, the orchestra’s chief executive, Kim will not be replaced until the 2006 season. Until then, potential candidates—including Christine Sohn, a freelancer, and John Harding, former concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony—will take his place.