The Metropolitan Opera in NY announced Sunday that it was suspending its relationship with James Levine, its music director emeritus and a monumental figure in the world of classical music, because of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
Following a 22-year absence from the downtown series, Levine returned in May 2005 to direct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in an all-Brahms concert to benefit the musicians' pension fund. Then-music director Daniel Barenboim was the piano soloist.
Chris Brown, who played principal bass in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for more than three decades, said that Mr. Levine masturbated him that summer - and then coaxed him to reciprocate - when Mr.
The announcement follows New York Times' interviews with three men who said Levine sexually abused them when they were teenagers. He reported the allegations to the police department in Lake Forest, Illinois, in October 2016.
It is fair to say Ravinia heard Levine's greatest achievements as a symphonic and operatic conductor with the CSO. "I don't have the faintest idea where those rumors came from or what objective they served", Levine told the New York Times' John Rockwell.
As of Monday afternoon, there had been no comment from Levine or his representatives.
"Everybody in the classical music business at least since the 1980s has talked about Levine as a sex abuser", said Greg Sandow, a faculty member at the Juilliard School and a widely respected veteran music critic.
The alleged victim in the IL investigation, whose name has been withheld because The Washington Post does not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse, has approached reporters from multiple publications over the years and, more recently, posted publicly on Facebook. Ironically, Levine was replacing current BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons in the pit.
The Met, the nation's largest performing arts organization and one of the world's most prestigious opera houses, is now under close scrutiny.
Those quick actions, however, came more than a year after a police detective in IL first reached out to the Met.
"We do not believe there is any truth whatsoever to the charges", Bliss wrote. The letter stated that the Met had spoken "extensively" with Levine and his manager. We need to determine if these charges are true and, if they are, take appropriate action.
"I think the general feeling is of anguish", Ms. Phillips said.
"The Met did not wish to interfere with the police investigation and thought it was the purview of the IL police department to follow through and question those who could corroborate (the) allegation", the opera's spokeswoman, Lee Abrahamian, said.
In his account to the Lake Forest Police Department, the accuser made explicit charges against Levine. The company took no further action, pending the outcome of the police investigation. Years later, Levine said in interviews that they were among the happiest moments of his musical life as well.
Information from the Boston Globe and the New York Times was included in this report.