Chairman of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Mr Michael Ullmer AO has announced he will retire from the Board at the end of April 2021. Mr Ullmer’s long and successful tenure was extended by mutual agreement in 2020 so that he could help guide the Orchestra through the challenges presented by COVID-19.
Mr David Li AM will take on the role of Chairman from 30 April 2021. A successful business leader and accomplished former professional violinist, David Li is currently the MSO’s Deputy Chairman and has served as a Director since 2013. Mr Li’s experience and influence as a creative artist and businessman have been pivotal in establishing the MSO’s deep connections with local communities as well as audiences and artists in Asia and internationally.
Mr Li has been instrumental in the establishment of the MSO’s annual East Meets West program which includes the popular Chinese New Year Concert. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his significant services to the performing arts in 2019.
Mr Li said, “I am honoured to become Chairman of this great Orchestra with its admirable international reputation. Music has the power to bring people and communities together and I look forward to continuing to support the work of our talented musicians.”
Michael Ullmer will remain connected to the MSO as Chair of the MSO’s International Advisory Committee.
Mr Ullmer said, “I am proud to have been able to play a role in ensuring that the MSO will continue to delight audiences in Melbourne, around Australia and beyond. I thank our talented musicians and staff for their tireless efforts, particularly over the past year and I look forward to being able to play an ongoing role in taking the music of Melbourne to the world stage.”
MSO Managing Director Sophie Galaise acknowledged the strong legacy Mr Ullmer leaves and expressed her support for Mr Li as the MSO’s new Chairman.
‘‘We are very grateful for the incredible work that Michael has done for our Orchestra as Chairman over the past five years, notably during the MSO’s hardest year in 2020. Given his great work in building the international profile of the Orchestra during his time on the Board, I’m delighted Michael will remain connected to the MSO at a strategic level to lead the International Advisory Committee.
We have worked hard to remove the significant risk facing the MSO as a result of COVID-19 and are looking forward to working with David in 2021 and beyond.’‘