Boston Symphony Finds Accusations Against Charles Dutoit ‘Credible’

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Boston Symphony Finds Accusations Against Charles Dutoit ‘Credible’

Post by lennygoran » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:21 pm

Boston Symphony Finds Accusations Against Charles Dutoit ‘Credible’


The Boston Symphony announced Friday that four women who worked for the orchestra in the 1980s and 1990s had given its investigators credible accounts of sexual misconduct at the hands of Charles Dutoit, a frequent guest conductor.

The orchestra severed its ties with Mr. Dutoit in December, after The Associated Press reported accusations that he had sexually assaulted several women elsewhere. Boston opened an independent investigation into Mr. Dutoit after Fiona Allan, a prominent figure in British theater, accused him of having sexually assaulted her in 1997 when she was as an intern at Tanglewood, the orchestra’s summer home in the Berkshires.

The orchestra said in a statement that its investigator had determined that Ms. Allan’s accusations were credible. It said that the investigator had also spoken with three other women who “credibly described incidents in the 1980s and 1990s in which they, too, were victims of sexual misconduct by Mr. Dutoit.” It did not provide any details about the other women.

Mr. Dutoit, 81, denied wrongdoing in December, issuing a statement in which he said that “whilst informal physical contact is commonplace in the arts world as a mutual gesture of friendship, the serious accusations made involving coercion and forced physical contact have absolutely no basis in truth.” But major orchestras around the world cut ties with him, and in January he stepped down as principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London nearly two years early.

The Boston Symphony said that none of the women had complained to the orchestra’s management, and that there were no indications that the orchestra’s management had been aware of Mr. Dutoit’s behavior until it was reported late last year.

The orchestra revoked an honorary title it had given him in 2016 at Tanglewood and said that it was enhancing its employee training, reviewing its policies and working to clarify its expectations of guest artists. “Let me be clear that we want to send a strong message that any form of sexual harassment or assault goes completely against our values and will not be tolerated,” the orchestra’s managing director, Mark Volpe, said in a statement.

Ms. Allan, who is now the artistic director and chief executive at the Birmingham Hippodrome in England, told The Boston Globe in January that Mr. Dutoit began groping her when, as an intern, she entered his dressing room to deliver some papers.

She told the paper that “he had somehow maneuvered me up against a wall and had put his hand on my breast.”

“That in itself was shocking and surprising,” she said. “But I think what shocked and surprised me equally to this was the sense of … entitlement. It was like I was this decorative thing that had come to his dressing room that he somehow felt entitled to touch.” ... collection

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