Long-serving Managing Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Nicholas Heyward will step down at the end of 2018, at the conclusion of his current contract, the orchestra announced today. Heyward was appointed Managing Director of the TSO in 2001, navigating the process of the organisation’s evolution from being part of the ABC to becoming an independent not-for-profit during the mid-2000s and oversaw the introduction of initiatives such as the Australian Conducting Academy, the establishment of the Australian Composer Series – which includes 21 recordings on ABC Classics, the Hush project and recordings on the Hyperion label – and the establishment of the Australian Music Program, a strategic pillar of the orchestra that ensures the inclusion of Australian music in the TSO Masters Series. He also established a separate endowment fund, the TSO Foundation.

Nicholas HeywardTSO Managing Director Nicholas Heyward. Photo: supplied

During his tenure, Heywood secured relationships for the TSO with organisations such as the Museum of Old and New Art, the Australian Ballet, the Australian National Academy of Music, Festival of Voices and Victorian Opera as well as launching the TSO Live Sessions concerts. Recent performance highlights of Heyward’s tenure have included the TSO’s China tour of 2016-2017 and the orchestra’s concert performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, starring Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton, which was named Best Symphony Orchestra Concert at the 2017 Helpmann Awards.

“During his tenure as Managing Director, Nicholas has realised a vision for the TSO which has positioned the orchestra as central to the cultural life of Tasmania,” said Dr David Rich, Chairman of the TSO Board. “Under the direction of both Nicholas’s management and the artistic leadership of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Marko Letonja, the TSO has been defined by a commitment to excellence reflected in the current quality of the orchestra, its very strong reputation nationally and internationally and its ability to attract the highest calibre of international soloists and visiting conductors.”

Before his tenure at the TSO, Heywood held executive management roles with institutions including Victoria State Opera, Musica Viva Australia, Brisbane Biennial International Music Festival and the Adelaide Festival, where he was CEO from 1997 to 2001.

The TSO Board will undertake an international recruitment process to secure a new Managing Director, the orchestra said in a statement.

“Nicholas has reinforced the TSO as a vital and innovative artistic institution,” Rich said, “and one which continues to play a key role in the current buoyant cultural climate of Tasmania.”