Leung, a retired civil servant, had no background in music when he was appointed. But under his leadership, the Philharmonic hired Edo de Waart, the former music director of Sydney Symphony and San Francisco Symphony, a move seen as a positive step for the orchestra.
The resignation comes four days before de Waart's first concert, and as the Philharmonic appears to be entering a period of calm after a long stretch of turmoil that started when Samuel Wong was hired as music director in 1999. Wong fired several musicians, and his heavy-handed style prompted the resignation of a number of others. In 2002, the orchestra announced that it would not renew his contract; two months later, however, after a board shakeup, he was rehired as principal conductor.