According to the paper, the WASO's board was frustrated with Bamert's focus on the Malaysian Philharmonic, of which he is principal conductor and artistic advisor.
Bamert, 63, has led the WASO since 2003. He is also associate guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic, and has previously served as music director of the Swiss Radio Orchestra, music director of the London Mozart Players, principal guest conductor of the Scottish National Orchestra, and director of the Lucerne Festival and Glasgow's Musica Nova festival.
According to the Australian, Bamert was informed of the board's decision earlier this month, just before he and the orchestra left for a tour of China. The paper adds that the tour was not a success: audiences were small and unenthusiastic about the Mahler and Brahms that the orchestra programmed on the advice of Chinese officials. Meanwhile, logistical problems prevented musicians from getting food and water at one point, and Bamert, having burned his right hand while cooking, was forced to conduct with his left.