Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after finding 'credible evidence' of sexual abuse

James Levine CREDIT Michael Dwyer AP REX Shutterstock
Ivan Hill | 13 March, 2018, 07:01

New York's Metropolitan Opera announced on Monday it fired legendary conductor James Levine, for decades the face of its orchestra, after finding "credible evidence" that he sexually abused younger musicians.

"The investigation uncovered credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met", the company said in a statement.

Levine had been a towering figure in the company's history, ruling over its repertoire, orchestra and singers as music or artistic director from 1976 until he stepped down under pressure two years ago.

The Met added that in addition to its findings on the allegations against Levine, the investigation suggested that any claims of a cover-up are "completely unsubstantiated".

The more than three-month-long investigation involved interviews with more than 70 individuals, according to the Met.

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Because they (ISA nations) decided it is good for them their children and grandchildren. They started to act and to deliver concrete results.


The Met, which like many major USA music institutions has a constant challenge of shoring up its finances, has acted quickly to move past the taint of Levine. The alleged victim reported the incidents to police in Lake Forest, Ill., in October 2016.

He has made numerous recordings, as well as television and radio broadcasts, with the Met. Levine has also held leadership positions with the Ravinia Festival, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He alleged that the much-older Levine fondled his penis when he was a teenager and masturbated naked in front of him, describing hundreds of incidents.

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.

Ashok Pai said he had been abused by Levine for years, beginning in 1986 near the Ravinia Festival in IL, when he was 16.

Four men accused Levine of assault, including Ashok Pai, who told the Daily News that the conductor "basically sexually assaulted me hundreds of times".

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