Jahja Ling to leave San Diego Symphony

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO — Jahja Ling, the acclaimed music director of the San Diego Symphony, announced Thursday that he plans to leave the organization after the 2016-17 season.

Ling, who joined the symphony in 2004, made the announcement at a meeting with the board of directors, staff and musicians.

“After the 2016-17 season, I look forward to pursuing more international guest conducting, passing on the great musical traditions to the next generation through teach and continuing with my volunteer work in the Christian mission,” Ling said in a statement.

“I am hopeful and confident that the future of this fine orchestra, led by our new CEO Martha Gilmer and supported by our talented administrative staff and committed board of directors, will be bright,” he said.

The native of Jakarta, Indonesia, has conducted all of the major symphonies in North America.

Last year, Ling led the symphony at its first-ever concert at Carnegie Hall, which was followed by a tour of China where the orchestra appeared in five concerts in Yantai — San Diego’s sister city — Shanghai and Beijing.

Ling has also had a 30-year relationship with The Cleveland Orchestra.

Gilmer said Ling will be given the title of conductor laureate so the San Diego Symphony they can continue inviting him back as a guest conductor. She said it was “characteristic of the personal and artistic integrity” of Ling that he gave the symphony time to search for a successor.

Ling’s tenure as music director is the longest in the symphony’s history.