Major Orchestras Cut Ties With Conductor Charles Dutoit Following Sexual Assault Allegations

Reports emerge alleging conductor Charles Dutoit sexually assaulted four musicians

The 81-year-old Dutoit, now the artistic director and principal conductor of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, has been a frequent guest conductor with the BSO for 36 years.

In a statement on the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra website on Friday, the orchestra said it had jointly agreed with the conductor "to release him from his forthcoming concert obligations [.] for the immediate future", adding that Dutoit needed "to be given a fair opportunity to seek legal advice and contest these accusations".

- The San Francisco Symphony today canceled planned performances by well-known conductor Charles Dutoit after allegations of sexual misconduct and assault by several singers and a musician were made public.

Conductor Charles Dutoit, right, performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra during a rehearsal in Philadelphia on October 19, 2011. He allegedly grabbed her breasts on two occasions, according to her - once in a auto, and once behind the curtains, just before they went on stage.

Calling the allegations "extremely troubling", a BSO statement Thursday evening said Dutoit will no longer appear as a guest conductor with the orchestra. When still in his early 20s, Charles Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct the Vienna Staatsoper. She would not show the AP the emails, saying she did not want them published, but read excerpts over the phone. The opera Metropolitan has suspended the chief James Levine earlier this month, in the wake of allegations of misconduct. "It's not exempt. And I would like to see young artists that are doing this career to actually feel like they can say no and not suffer repercussions".

After a few rehearsals, the musician - who now performs in another orchestra - said Dutoit offered her a seat in his box for a concert. "But what he has done is wrong", she said. "I managed to shove him off and right at that moment, the elevator door opened". "I alerted the orchestra manager, who told me (too late...) that they usually advised women not to enter his dressing room unaccompanied, as there had been previous complaints", she wrote.

After he attacked her, the musician said, Dutoit emailed her about a dozen times. Other orchestras have also distanced themselves from him. And me, my look said to him: "You know why I'm here".

Reports emerge alleging conductor Charles Dutoit sexually assaulted four musicians
Conductor Charles Dutoit and Principle Dancer Marcelo Gomes Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Dutoit called a meeting in his dressing room after a rehearsal, and when the others left, she said he pressed her against the wall, restrained her wrists and pushed himself against her.

She described how she arrived in his dressing room for an interview only to have him snatch away her notebook, then lean in, putting his hand on her knee while trying to give her a massage.

"I never went to the police".

"He threw me against the wall, shoved my hand down his trousers and shoved his tongue down my throat", she told the Associated Press. She refused to ever be alone with the maestro again, said Rasmussen, 52, now an attorney in the San Francisco area.

In interviews with the AP, more than a dozen singers, musicians and stage staff spoke of a culture of sexual misconduct in the classical music world that they said has always been implicitly tolerated by people in positions of authority.

"A.B.T. was made aware of a highly concerning allegation of sexual misconduct by Mr. Gomes, occurring approximately eight years ago", the chairman of the company's board of trustees, Andrew F. Barth, told the Times.



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