Kildea, who succeeded William Lyne in 2003, intends to focus on his conducting career, which he had been pursuing along with his Wigmore duties.
"Although hectic and a real balancing act, the last two years have been a wonderful time for me," Kildea said in a statement. "But this period has also coincided with an intensifying of my own performing career, and with operas at Aldeburgh, the Hamburg Staatsoper, and Perth in the immediate future, with concert work in Paris, London, and Australia, and with a new book commission. I have reached the point where it is impossible to sustain both lives."
The position of Wigmore Hall's director, before Kildea stepped into it, had been two separate jobs, one artistic and one administrative. John Gilhooly, currently Wigmore's executive director, will take on Kildea's artistic duties until spring of 2006, when the board of directors will decide on what the job will look like in the future.
According to the London Guardian, the split may not be as amicable as it seems, with speculation that Kildea was frustrated with Wigmore's "stifling atmosphere," according to a anonymous source.
The source said, "The problem with the Wigmore audience is that they are very knowledgeable, but also know exactly what they want. They certainly don't want someone coming in and telling them what they want."
Kildea was criticized by Wigmore's long-time loyalists for not programming its regular artists, for introducing contemporary music, and for not wearing a suit and tie to events.
John Tusa, Wigmore's chairman of the board, told the Guardian, "[Kildea] has always been many things: an academic, a performer, and his contract at the Wigmore allowed him time off for conducting. The pressure of these extra conducting offers means, do you struggle trying to do all those things, or do you look at the reality and be honest about where your interest lies?"