Andre Previn, unhappy with his limited role in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and wanting to spend more time in America, will resign next year as principal conductor, the company has announced.

Previn, who turned 62 on Saturday, will not be replaced when he leaves the company in July 1992, said spokesman Bruce Jefferson.Four years ago, Previn relinquished the post of musical director to Vladimir Ashkenazy, which gave Ashkenazy the first choice of music to be performed by the company.

"Ashkenazy is so hard-working and has expanded his own repertoire so much that the role of principal conductor separate from music director has ceased to be as significant as it was," said a statement by the orchestra.

Previn introduced the Russian violinist to the Royal Philharmonic during his own tenure as musical director from 1985 to 1987.

But managing director Ian Maclay said Previn, who has been principal conductor since 1987, found it increasingly difficult to work under Ashkenazy.

"While they have worked in tandem, Ashkenazy as musical director gets the first choice of repertoire and tours. Previn finds that restrictive," Maclay said. "He doesn't find his role with the orchestra so attractive any more, but the two men are still good friends."

In his resignation letter submitted last week, Previn said he had decided to stand down after much "soul-searching."

Previn, who spent 11 years as principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, starting in 1968, was expected to devote more time to guest appearances in Britain and the United States.

Before leaving the company, the Berlin-born conductor will perform in London and accompany the company to Japan in August and September.

"We are, of course, sorry that Mr. Previn will be unable to continue, but it will not make a significant difference to us," Jefferson said. "The emphasis in the work of the orchestra goes to the music director."

Previn has made more than 30 recordings with the 84-member Royal Philharmonic since he joined as music director in 1985.

Previn was music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1986-1989, but he resigned after clashing with the orchestra's managing director over his role.