Conductor James Levine fired by New York's Metropolitan Opera

14 March, 2018, 06:28 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after finding 'credible evidence' of sexual abuse

In December, Levine was suspended from his posts as music director emeritus and head of its young artist program; he was sacked this week after an internal investigation revealed "sexually abusive and harassing conduct".

The Met said in a statement Monday that its investigation found Levine "engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers".

Levine, 74, made his debut with the Met in 1971, was suspended in December after three men came forward to claim he had abused them when they were teenagers. He made the accusation against Levine in 2016 in a report to the Lake Police Department in IL.

Levine officially retired as music director in April 2016, but had stayed on as music director emeritus and artistic director of the Met's young artist program.

Levine was held in very high esteem by the Met's orchestra, and was also music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Ravinia Music Festival from 1973-1993 and the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 2004-2011, and chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic from 1999-2004. According to the Met's most recent statement, more than 70 people were interviewed in the investigation, which was led by Robert J. Cleary of the law firm Proskauer Rose.

The allegations detailed in the NYT included assertions that Levine engaged in sexual activity with teenage boy musicians in ensembles he conducted, and go as far back as 1968, when he was a member of the faculty at the Meadow Brook School of Music in MI. Levine was the Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera for roughly forty years, and almost synonymous with the Met.

The investigation also found that members of the Board of Directors and the management has been involved in covering up rumors and accusations of sexual assault made against Levine throughout his tenure at the Met. Famed conductor James Levine is now enduring a disgraceful exit from the MET due to sexual misconduct. Law enforcement officials said a year ago that they would not bring criminal charges against Levine, noting that while the state's age of consent is now 17 - and 18 in some cases - it was still 16 in 1986.

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