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Thursday, 13 April, 2000, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK
Orchestra boss quits
violin close up
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society has debts of about 2.5m
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society's chief executive has resigned, at a time when the society's debts have reached 2.5m.

Antony Lewis-Crosby, who worked for the society for six years, refused to comment on the reasons for his departure.

Under his leadership the Philharmonic Hall underwent an ambitious 10.3m refurbishment.

But despite strong audience figures and annual grants from the Arts Council and local authorities, the society has still has amassed debts of nearly 2.5m.

Mr Lewis-Crosby was known to be a strong campaigner for arts funding.

He had recently negotiated a new position with the Arts Council which the council said, "promises a very positive future for the orchestra".



I know the society will have a glowing future now that stabilisation funding from the Arts Council is in sight

Antony Lewis-Crosby
Mr Lewis-Crosby said: "I shall in many ways be sorry to be leaving but I know it [the society] will have a glowing future now that stabilisation funding from the Arts Council is in sight."

Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, commented: "I have been pressing the Arts Council's hand over stabilisation money.

"Generally speaking, part of their conditions are to have management that they have confidence in."

Laying foundations

The Arts Council praised Mr Lewis-Crosby's "outstanding" leadership qualities, paying tribute to his "untiring contribution to the orchestra".

The council has yet to release details about the latest funding negotiations.

In Liverpool, chairman of the Philharmonic Society Peter Johnson praised his colleague's achievements.

"The society is indebted to Antony Lewis-Crosby. We can now advance confidently to build on the foundations he has laid.

"He has shaped our affairs, so that the orchestra has the outstanding reputation it presently enjoys.

"We shall miss his guidance but will benefit from his achievements."

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