The head of the New York Philharmonic is stepping down. Zarin Mehta says he'll be leaving in two years, when his contract expires. His accomplishments with the orchestra include an historic trip to North Korea in 2008, hiring Alan Gilbert as musical director last year, and bringing in more corporate sponsors. His tenure also included a failed merger with Carnegie Hall.
"My decision is really that I have a contract that expires in two years' time," he told WQXR's Annie Bergen. "I will be 74 at the time, nearly, and I think it's time for me to do something less intense," he said.
But looking back, he also wishes he had done more for the orchestra. "I wish I had raised more money," he said. "And we had a larger endowment fund. And I wish the economy had been such that we could have re-done the hall."
By the time he leaves, Mehta will ahve been with the New York Philharmonic for twelve years. His replacement has not yet been announced.