Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

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John F
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by John F » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:01 am

Nor is the fact that except for the first one, all who have come forward to accuse Levine have been 17 or older. In their cases I suppose the relevant charge would be sexual harassment rather than child molestation. Which may be immaterial anyway if the statute of limitations for criminal charges and perhaps also for civil liability has been met.
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Belle
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Belle » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:33 am

John F wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:51 am
For years, James Levine has earned about $2 million a season from the Met alone, and more from his music directorships at Ravinia, Munich, and Boston. Ten years ago the BSO paid his company Phramus Inc. nearly $1.6 million for his first season with them. He also earns substantial royalties on his many, many recordings and DVDs of operas and orchestral repertoire, the movie "Fantasia 2000," and so on. As far as I know, his lifestyle is pretty frugal, he doesn't fritter all that money away on the usual accoutrements of the rich and famous - no Hollywood mansions, no yachts or jets, no private Caribbean islands, etc. Levine has always kept his private life very private indeed, and I've found no estimates of his net worth, but even after taxes it must be enormous for a classical musician. The victims of his alleged sexual harassment may well bring civil suits against him - in litigious America that's almost routine - and they may win, but I don't think that's likely to come near bankrupting him, however else it may harm him.
If the abuse/harassment is as widespread as has been suggested there may well be a class action in which case the extent of the wealth you mention is very vulnerable. A person earning that amount of money does not have yachts, jets or Caribbean islands. That just simply isn't enough income for that lifestyle, especially after taxes. We shall see whether he is bankrupted, but it wouldn't be that difficult a thing to do once lawyers jump on board and would also be contingent upon the number (if any) of litigants. In fact, it's the very rich in the category you mention who actually have the capacity to hide their money offshore and protect it from threats.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:35 pm

Updates:
-- Another Levine accuser steps forward.
-- Ravinia Festival severs all ties.
-- Juilliard School cancels February concert.
-- Cincy May Festival cancels.
-- Met announces conductor Emmanuel Villaume for Tosca.
-- Met GM Peter Gelb embattled as general public and donors react.
_________________________________________________________

Met Opera Reels as Fourth Man Accuses James Levine of Sexual Abuse

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/arts ... opera.html

By Michael Cooper
Dec. 4, 2017

As the Metropolitan Opera reeled from the suspension of its longtime conductor James Levine over sexual misconduct accusations, a fourth man came forward Monday saying that Mr. Levine had sexually abused him decades ago, when the man was a student.

Met officials scrambled to deal with the cascade of accusations, emailing donors to assure them that the Met will be taking “all appropriate actions” — even as the opera house came under sharp criticism for not investigating Mr. Levine after learning in 2016 of a police inquiry into a report of sexual abuse against him.

The Ravinia Festival also announced Monday night that it had “severed all ties” with Mr. Levine, its former music director, who had planned to begin a five-year term as conductor laureate in the summer of 2018. “We are deeply troubled and saddened by the allegations and sympathize with everyone who has been hurt,” the festival said in a statement.

The man who made the new accusations Monday, Albin Ifsich, said he had been abused by Mr. Levine beginning in 1968, when Mr. Ifsich was 20 and attending the Meadow Brook School of Music, a summer program in Michigan where Mr. Levine was a rising star on the faculty. He said that the abuse continued for several years after he joined a tight-knit clique of young musicians who followed Mr. Levine in Cleveland and later New York.

Mr. Ifsich — who went on to have a long career as a violinist in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra — recalled visiting Mr. Levine’s dorm room one night to discuss problems the student was having with his bow arm. “And then he says, ‘If we’re going to work on your violin I have to understand you sexually,’” Mr. Ifsich said. The abuse began with Mr. Levine exposing himself and engaging in masturbation.

Two other men told The Times this weekend that Mr. Levine masturbated them when they were students at Meadow Brook as well. Another man said that Mr. Levine abused him as a teenager beginning in the mid-1980s.

A representative for Mr. Levine declined to comment Monday night on Mr. Ifsich’s account.

The accusations against Mr. Levine led the Met to suspend him on Sunday night while it opened an investigation into his behavior, and to cancel his upcoming appearances, including in a high-stakes new production of Puccini’s “Tosca” on New Year’s Eve.

News of his suspension jolted the opera world, where Mr. Levine is considered one of the finest conductors ever, and raised questions about what was known by the Met and other institutions that employed him over the years.

In the email to Met donors, Ann Ziff, the chairwoman of the Met’s board of directors, and Judith-Ann Corrente, its president and chief executive officer, wrote that they had been “deeply disturbed” by the reports about Mr. Levine. A recipient of the email shared it with The Times on Monday night.

“Together with general manager Peter Gelb, we are committed to a complete investigation of the allegations against Mr. Levine, and we would like to assure you and all of the Met’s loyal donors that the company will be taking all appropriate actions,” the two Met officials wrote in the email. “We also want to assure you that we will never lose focus on our artistic mission to continue to deliver performances of the highest artistic level to our audience.”

Some opera lovers and others took to social media to question whether the Met knew about troubling behavior by Mr. Levine and why Mr. Gelb and other leaders did not investigate him before now, given disturbing rumors about his private life that had long circulated in music circles.
so is Peter Gelb going to face any consequences for ignoring the police report about this for an entire year until all this public scrutiny happened? — BrinSolomon (@nonstandardrep) Dec. 4, 2017

You have known for years. You were and are complacent and an accessory because you did nothing. — Nanci Boice (@sbnanci) Dec. 4, 2017
Mr. Gelb, in an interview, dismissed rumors circulating online that the Met had reached settlements in the past with the families of abuse victims as untrue.

“Since I’ve been at the Met there has not been a single instance of somebody coming forward to make a complaint, ever, about Levine in recent Met history,” Mr. Gelb said. “And if you talk to the previous general managers about their watches, they say the same.”

“There have been no complaints and no settlements, and this has been verified by the Met’s finance office, our development office,” he said.

Mr. Gelb was contacted in October 2016 by a detective from the Lake Forest, Ill., police department who asked him about an official complaint filed by Ashok Pai, the man who accused Mr. Levine of abusing him as teenager in the mid-1980s. Mr. Gelb said Mr. Levine had denied the accusation, and the Met had decided to await the outcome of the police investigation before taking action. The Met began its own investigation this weekend when news of the police report was made public, and it learned that there could be other accusations coming.

The news shook the opera house Monday. The musicians of the Met’s orchestra met during a break in their rehearsal of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” to discuss — and try to make sense of — the accusations against Mr. Levine, whom many revered. They also applauded the courage of, and expressed sympathy for, the men who came forward with accusations that Mr. Levine had abused them, said Jessica Phillips, a clarinet player who leads the orchestra committee.

“I think the general feeling is of anguish,” Ms. Phillips said.

After Mr. Levine’s suspension, two important unions at the Met — Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, which represents its orchestra, and the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents its choristers, soloists, stage managers, directors and dancers – issued statements that pointedly noted the Met’s obligation to provide a safe workplace.

Mr. Gelb spent much of the weekend dealing with the fallout from the accusations — holding an emergency meeting of its executive committee by telephone on Sunday to discuss its decision to suspend Mr. Levine and working to find conductors to take over his canceled engagements.

He also said that the Met was fielding calls and emails from people who said that they wanted to share information about Mr. Levine.

“In general, I think people are stunned and concerned, but at the same time this company has a very strong foundation that runs very deep,” Mr. Gelb said. “As important as Jim has been as part of the company’s fabric, he did step down as music director two seasons ago, and the company has already imagined life without him.”

Several Met board members and prominent donors, reached on Monday, declined to discuss Mr. Levine or the pressures facing the Met.

On Monday, the Juilliard School announced that the accusations against Mr. Levine had led it to seek a replacement for him at a concert in February that he had been scheduled to conduct of the Juilliard Orchestra and the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by barney » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:42 am

I have some sympathy with Tommasini's ethical torment, but only a little. Whether to move handsome Levine box sets out of the living room certainly strikes me as a first-world problem. And his longing to share it with however many hundreds of thousands of readers strikes me as pretty self-indulgent.
It won't stop me admiring Levine as a conductor. We've had many discussions about whether extra-curricular activities should affect our musical regards, and it comes down to person by person, case by case.

John F
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by John F » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:35 am

Really, who cares where Tommasini keeps his free review copies of Levine records, or what he thinks? But a couple of people have mentioned Levine's recordings to me, so I guess Tommasini is addressing their concerns, though not mine.

In reply, I asked them where they keep their Karajan recordings. If we're to make such decisions on moral grounds, which I say we shouldn't, then being an admitted member of the Nazi Party during the years of the Holocaust (Karajan joined not once but twice) is surely no better than what Levine is being accused of, which he has not admitted or been formally charged with.
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:42 am

I'd be delighted to take those two banished Met Centennial boxes off Tommasini's hands at the right price. Unlike Tommasini, I have never enshrined Levine's recordings nor do I now in the wake of his disgrace have any problem listening to them (or HvKs for that matter). Just this week I listened to the Met's recent Verdi Requiem and a HvK/BPO 1974 London Brahms cycle.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by maestrob » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:29 pm

Levine was a great opera conductor and IMHO a good to mediocre conductor in orchestral repertoire. He also had the courage to program modern works (i.e. Moses und Aaron at the MET and music by Charles Wuorinen during his abbreviated tenure in Boston). There is no question about his musicality, nor about his social skills in rehearsal. The question I am concerned with is his personal restraint, which appears to be non-existent. Abusive behavior toward those young men who depend on Levine's personal power for advancement in their careers (or to earn a living) is quite simply a character flaw that cries out for retribution; thus his dismissal. I personally have no tolerance for such behavior. I have long maintained that the MET is not a nice place to work, in spite of its occasionally great performances.

Disconnecting with Levine is a good start, but the entire culture at the MET needs to be rethought. At least it's a start.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Lance » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:38 pm

It seems Levine's situation has captivated attention world-wide. I can only imagine him walking around his NYC apartment reliving things he did in the past, now at 74. No doubt this will affect his career tremendously and he may, given his health situation, step out of things totally. I had been thinking of doing a series tribute on the radio on Levine until this news came forth. I am rethinking this, as probably many others are as well who program music over the air of on TV. His catalogue of recordings is very comprehensive right from the start of his career. It all seems such a great shame to have an artist of his caliber go out like this.
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barney
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by barney » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:23 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:04 am
Tommasini weighs in on the Levine mess. His Levine albums are to be banished from plain sight in his living room.

Should I Put Away My James Levine Recordings?
By Anthony Tommasini DEC. 5, 2017
Anthony Tommasini wrote:So what do I do with these commemorative collections? I won’t give them away. But I’m going to move them out of my living room.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/arts ... ritic.html
I posted on this yesterday, but somehow lost it.
I have only a limited sympathy for Tommasini here. We have often pondered people's extra-curricular lives in this forum, generally concluding they were not relevant to their musical performance. If anybody feels strongly otherwise, as I did for a while with Gergiev, then that's their privilege, obviously.
As for Tommasini, having to move his handsome box sets from one room to another, you could hardly find a more first-world problem. That's going to change the world! In fact, I think the article was remarkably self-indulgent.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by barney » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:25 pm

maestrob wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:29 pm
Levine was a great opera conductor and IMHO a good to mediocre conductor in orchestral repertoire. He also had the courage to program modern works (i.e. Moses und Aaron at the MET and music by Charles Wuorinen during his abbreviated tenure in Boston). There is no question about his musicality, nor about his social skills in rehearsal. The question I am concerned with is his personal restraint, which appears to be non-existent. Abusive behavior toward those young men who depend on Levine's personal power for advancement in their careers (or to earn a living) is quite simply a character flaw that cries out for retribution; thus his dismissal. I personally have no tolerance for such behavior. I have long maintained that the MET is not a nice place to work, in spite of its occasionally great performances.

Disconnecting with Levine is a good start, but the entire culture at the MET needs to be rethought. At least it's a start.
Given the post I just made about not dismissing Levine's legacy of recordings, I have to say I agree with you Brian about the need for him to go.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by IcedNote » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:13 pm

I have to admit that it's much more difficult for me to make allowances for Levine than it is for, say, Wagner or Karajan. I wonder if this is strictly because he's contemporaneous...or if there's something else going on in my head. Have to think more about it...but I can't imagine I'm the only one...?

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:13 pm

IcedNote wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:13 pm
I have to admit that it's much more difficult for me to make allowances for Levine than it is for, say, Wagner or Karajan. I wonder if this is strictly because he's contemporaneous...or if there's something else going on in my head. Have to think more about it...but I can't imagine I'm the only one...?

-G
I use Carlos Kleiber as my benchmark; he revered von Karajan above all other musicians and visited his grave often in Salzburg. This from a man whose father and mother fled Germany in 1936, with Carlos and Veronica in tow, and finally moved to Argentina, amongst other places, during the war years. And Ruth Goodrich Kleiber was a Jew. When they returned to Europe Erich Kleiber couldn't get work in Vienna (and died prematurely in Zurich at 60 years of age). I've often wondered if it was the Austrians' revenge for him 'sitting' out the war overseas and not suffering along with everybody else!!

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/JnrvnY6kfLA/hqdefault.jpg

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:16 am

IcedNote wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:13 pm
I have to admit that it's much more difficult for me to make allowances for Levine than it is for, say, Wagner or Karajan. I wonder if this is strictly because he's contemporaneous...or if there's something else going on in my head. Have to think more about it...but I can't imagine I'm the only one...?

-G
I feel about the same: For me it's partly that he is contemporaneous but mostly the fact that he has been credibly accused of taking advantage of young people, one child among them, who trusted him and whose well-being had been entrusted to him.

Still, I think highly of Levine as a musician and will continue to listen often and with pleasure to his recordings.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by John F » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:33 am

IcedNote wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:13 pm
I have to admit that it's much more difficult for me to make allowances for Levine than it is for, say, Wagner or Karajan.
Why this is so, would be for you to say. But it may be because the allegations against Levine are personal and sexual, while the others are neither.

Wagner's virulent antisemitism was based on a pernicious racial theory, and he nonetheless permitted a Jew, Hermann Levi, to conduct the premiere of "Parsifal." (Actually, King Ludwig insisted on it; Wagner tried to persuade Levi to convert.) As for Karajan, he claims to have joined the Nazi Party to advance his conducting career in Germany, not because of their ideology and policies. Whether you excuse that, or indeed believe it, is up to you. Personally, I can't find either of them completely innocent, but the Holocaust doesn't come to my mind when I listen to their music or their music-making, and it certainly doesn't make me boycott them.

Back to the present day. Countless law-abiding citizens have ruined the careers and lives of young people in one way or another - parents, teachers, employers, religious. Leonard Bernstein said in 1958, “Every genius had a handicap. Beethoven was deaf. Chopin had tuberculosis. Well, someday the books will say, 'Leonard Bernstein had a father'.” :roll: But sexual offenses seem especially to trouble us, even when no physical or psychological harm is apparent, and no matter how much good the offender may otherwise have done. I wouldn't for a moment suggest this attitude is wrong, only that it's personal rather than universal, and leave it at that.
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by lennygoran » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:06 am

Finally a statement from Levine-I can't imagine a lie detector test for him and others-I see them a lot since I watch Investigation Discovery shows a lot. Regards, Len


James Levine Denies ‘Unfounded’ Sexual Abuse Accusations

By MICHAEL COOPER DEC. 7, 2017


James Levine, the famed conductor and former music director of the Metropolitan Opera, issued his first response Thursday evening to accusations that he sexually abused several men decades ago when they were teenagers or his students, calling them “unfounded.”

“As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded,” he said in a written statement. “As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor.”

After the first accusations began to emerge over the weekend, the Metropolitan Opera suspended its four-decade relationship with Mr. Levine on Sunday, and asked an outside law firm to investigate his behavior. Four men told The New York Times that Mr. Levine sexually abused them decades ago. One said that he was 17 when Mr. Levine abused him in 1968 at the Meadow Brook School of Music in Michigan, a summer program where Mr. Levine, a rising star, conducted the school’s orchestra and led its orchestral institute. Two more said that they were abused as students there that summer as well — one when he 17, the other 20 — and said that the abuse continued for several years after they joined a clique of young musicians who followed Mr. Levine to Cleveland and later to New York. A fourth man said he was abused in 1986, when he was 16, near the Ravinia Festival in Illinois, where Mr. Levine was the music director. He reported the abuse last year to the Lake Forest, Ill., police.

The Metropolitan Opera appointed Robert J. Cleary, a partner at the Proskauer Rose law firm, to investigate the accusations against Mr. Levine as it weighs his future. The company has been naming replacements for Mr. Levine’s scheduled performances.

Mr. Levine made it clear in his statement that he hopes to resume conducting.

“I have devoted my energies to the development, growth, and nurturing of music and musicians all over the world — particularly with the Metropolitan Opera where my work has been the lifeblood and passion of my artistic imagination,” he said in the statement. “My fervent hope is that in time people will come to understand the truth, and I will be able to continue my work with full concentration and inspiration.”

When asked about the statement, Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Met, said, “It’s a sad state of affairs, but of course our investigation has to continue.”

James Lestock, 67, said on Thursday evening that he stood by his account.

“He is lying,” he said of Mr. Levine’s statement in an email. “The examples of instigating sex with a minor, physical abuse using physical pain leading to break down crying, all happened. I will take a lie-detector test. Will he?”

Mr. Lestock said that he was a 17-year-old cello student at Meadow Brook when he was abused in Mr. Levine’s dorm room. He described numerous later incidents of abuse; he said that once Mr. Levine had pinched him painfully until he cried, and then continued pinching him, to wound him.


And Chris Brown, 66, who played principal bass in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for more than three decades, stood by his account that Mr. Levine had abused him the summer before his senior year in high school, when he was 17.

“Sexual abuse at any age is inexcusable,” he said. “Further, belittling those of us who were abused as less than fully human is repugnant. I stand by the story.”

Mr. Levine issued his statement on Thursday night after the Met announced that it had found replacements for most of the operas he had been scheduled to conduct this season. The company said that Marco Armiliato would conduct the Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” and Bertrand de Billy would lead Verdi’s “Luisa Miller.”

The accusations of sexual abuse have shaken the company and opera fans. On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Gelb sought to reassure some of the company’s core supporters at a previously scheduled Metropolitan Opera Guild luncheon honoring the soprano Renée Fleming.

“As everyone in this room knows, the Met has recently been facing a very painful and challenging trial,” he told the guests who had gathered at Cipriani 42nd Street. “But while the Metropolitan Opera has been shaken, it still stands strong.”

Mr. Gelb never mentioned Mr. Levine by name at the lunch. But he emphasized that the Met was greater than any one individual, and spoke of its previous trials, including a disastrous fire in 1892 and the recession of 2008.

“The Met’s greatness is a collective effort,” he said. “It’s the grand result of thousands of artists and artisans who create operatic magic on our stage and in the pit night after night, season after season, and decade after decade.”




https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/arts ... collection

barney
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by barney » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:56 pm

Obviously tricky for the Met. I think they have acted appropriately, standing Levine down and starting an investigation. They certainly can't take any sides at this point. But Gelb's remarks sound as though they are preparatory to distancing the Met from Levine.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by John F » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:13 am

Len posted this in the wrong thread:

James Levine Will Not Face Criminal Charges in Illinois

By MICHAEL COOPER
DEC. 8, 2017

Law enforcement officials in Illinois said Friday that they would not bring criminal charges against the famed Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine, noting that the man accusing Mr. Levine of sexual abuse there three decades ago had been 16 at the time — which was then the age of consent. “As such, even if it were possible to establish the alleged acts took place, they do not constitute a criminal offense under the applicable law,” the Lake Forest Police Department said in a statement.

The police had been investigating a complaint made last year by Ashok Pai, 48, who grew up in Illinois and said that he was sexually abused there as a teenager by Mr. Levine, who was then the music director of the Ravinia Festival, near Lake Forest. Mr. Pai accused Mr. Levine of lying naked with him in bed and touching his penis while at a hotel near the festival in 1986, when Mr. Pai was 16, beginning years of sexual contact.

Mr. Levine, 74, was suspended on Sunday from the Metropolitan Opera, his artistic home of more than 40 years, after three men — including Mr. Pai — came forward with accusations that he sexually abused them decades ago, when the men were teenagers or students of his. (A fourth man came forward on Monday with a similar accusation.) Friends and relatives of the accusers said in interviews that the men had either complained of Mr. Levine’s abuse near the time it happened or in the years since.

The Met has engaged a law firm to investigate the accusations, and replaced Mr. Levine in his upcoming engagements. Several other institutions announced they were cutting ties with him. On Thursday Mr. Levine responded to the accusations for the first time, calling them “unfounded.”

Mr. Pai, the Met and a representative for Mr. Levine declined to comment on the decision not to bring charges.

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office noted that, while Mr. Pai had been at the age of consent in 1986, the age had since changed. “It is important to note that since the time these acts are alleged to have occurred, Illinois law has raised the age of consent to 17,” the office said in a statement. “Also, there is now a provision in Illinois law raising the age of consent to 18 in cases where the suspect is in a position of trust, authority, or supervision in relation to the victim. No similar legal protection existed during the time frame in which these acts are alleged to have occurred.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/08/arts ... opera.html
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by lennygoran » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:21 am

John F wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:13 am
Len posted this in the wrong thread:
Yes thanks for posting it in the proper thread-I was able to delete it from the other thread. Regards, Len

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by John F » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:09 pm

On the Met's James Levine, and the age-old debate of separating the art from the artist
Mark Swed
December 21, 2017

James Levine has been a conductor in steady decline. Parkinsonian tremors along with several falls requiring surgery have severely reduced his mobility, and a cancerous kidney had to be removed. During the last decade he was forced to cancel numerous engagements and greatly reduce his once prodigious workload. Now at 74, he is confined to a wheelchair and conducts with shaking hands that make his beat hard to follow.

But through it all, he remained one of the most revered figures in classical music, celebrated for performances full of warmth and humanity. After four decades as music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, he was the Met until his frailty forced him to step down last season. He had been a great music director of the Chicago Symphony at its summer festival in Ravinia, a great music director of the Boston Symphony, a great music director of the Munich Philharmonic. He tirelessly mentored young singers, conductors and orchestral players who worshiped him like a god for his caring and devotion.

Then three weeks ago the Met said it would investigate allegations of sexual abuse leveled against Levine. Four men have stepped forward to accuse the conductor of abuse three or more decades ago when they were in their teens or 20s. Levine has denied the accusations, but the Met nonetheless suspended Levine’s future performances with the company. Ravinia, Boston and Munich followed suit by severing all ties with the conductor.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Levine has gone from living legend to pariah. NPR has refused to broadcast his performances; movie theaters have canceled holiday screenings of the Met’s “Magic Flute” with Levine conducting. The age-old discussion of whether you can separate art from the artist has once more been ignited.

There is something deeply disturbing about all this. What I am about to say is going to be controversial, so let me make it clear from the start that if these allegations prove true, Levine will have caused indefensible harm. But it is also painfully clear, in our current climate, that anyone once identified with Levine dare not presume him innocent until proven guilty.
The Met is running so scared because Levine’s sexual behavior has been the subject of gossip for just about ever. I began hearing rumors from company members at the Met itself in the 1980s, when I lived in New York. Many at the company were unhappy about the rumors, but they loved Jimmy anyway. He was maybe more secretive than most celebrated conductors about his personal life, but dark sides were all but expected in classical music and particularly the opera, where emotions necessarily runneth over. Moreover, most people who worked with Levine or who, like me, observed him from afar, saw mainly the good in him. We were in awe of the music making and, thus, the music maker.

But before everyone starts throwing stones, let me point out that we make peace with politicians, Wall Street and Silicon Valley. We convince ourselves that this is the way things must be because it is the culture, until we get a Weinsteinian shock.

To understand Levine, you have to go back to the summer of 1972. Artistically bankrupt and nearly so financially, the Met hired a visionary new director, a Swede, Goeran Gentele, who promised to revolutionize the conservative company with stagings by the likes of film director Ingmar Bergman and choreographer Jerome Robbins. For the first time, the Met hired a music director, noted Czech conductor Rafael Kubelik. Gentele’s most daring move of all was to make the 28-year-old Levine, who had only just made his Met debut, principal conductor.

Levine was obviously a musical genius. The accolades began as a child prodigy pianist. As a conductor, he apprenticed with the tyrannical George Szell at the Cleveland Orchestra. He was taken under the wing of the imperious king-maker, the artist manager Ronald Wilford. He moved in fast circles, like those of Leonard Bernstein’s. Coddled conductors could pretty much get away with murder.

It would not be unreasonable to assume that the young Levine lacked emotional maturity. The most successful musicians spend much of their lives alone practicing. They bask in praise. They attend conservatories, institutional hothouses where they hone their aggressively competitive skills to make it to the big time. They are pawns of the Wilfords, who look after careers, not lives. Just as Gentele was preparing to open his first season, he died in an automobile accident. The panicked company failed to find a similar artistic visionary to head it. Without Gentele, Kubelik didn’t work out. Within three years Wilford had wormed Levine into the top spot.

The only real way we, as outsiders, have to trace Levine’s development is through his development at the Met, where he ultimately set the artistic policy. Musical standards at the company rose dramatically. Levine is rightfully praised for making a so-so Met orchestra into one of the world’s finest. He also saw to it that the chorus attained equally high standards. He nurtured singers galore. He made education a high priority. Levine also brought the Met into the 20th century, greatly expanding the repertory. He favored American composers. He instituted the commissioning of new operas, something the company hadn’t done in a long time. I spent many an amazing night at the Met, when Levine had his way.

But at Levine’s Met, stagings stayed out of the music’s way. There was seldom theatrical or visual sophistication. The dramatic issues of opera, their real emotional meaning, were little explored, almost as if that were something to hide.

I don’t know Levine, but I have interviewed him and was startled in doing so. He typically came across as a schlumpy figure, plump, usually dressed in a polo shirt and carrying a brightly colored, oversized towel over his shoulder. His statements in public could be so pat that you might think him to be a corporate patsy. He carefully reveals little about himself in a 1998 book of dialogues with Robert C. Marsh. But sit down and have a conversation with him and you would, in fact, find a sophisticated thinker about music, about the music world and about people. He searched works for their most telling meaning. He talked about other conductors with psychological insight. He turned out to be a seeker.

This might then leave us with the impression of Levine as overly cautious in some ways but in others, particularly when his conducting was unflinchingly introspective or orgiastic, altogether incautious. The least confrontational of conductors, Levine has always been a cajoler on the podium, but behind the scenes he is accused of the opposite.

That very intersection of good and bad, of course, is the territory of art. Anyone can come up with a list of great artists notable for displaying horrible traits. And, no, you cannot separate the maker from the final product. It is this very dealing with these issues, whether consciously or not, that produces meaningful results. Just as there can be no life without death, there can be no concept of good without bad.

Not coincidentally, opera is an art form that abounds in the value of forgiveness and the potential for redemption. It has the capacity for creating fascination that can lead to sympathy in characters who act appallingly (Salome calls for the head of John the Baptist, but it is her sexually harassing stepfather who is the more loathsome). In addition, opera is adept at depicting the terrors of mob mentality, warning about the dangers of revenge and extolling the healing value of clemency.

It would be far too simplistic to suggest that any of this reflects on the specifics of Levine’s situation. Rather, opera at its most profound becomes a spectacle of the inexplicable complexity of our emotions and our actions. Yet opera seems to be the last place where Levine and the Met have turned to come to terms with their own convoluted history.

This is its own kind of tragedy. The question is not whether the bad outweighs the good — our karma calculators are not powerful enough for that — but whether the bad destroys the good. Levine has left us with a lot that matters.

It just so happens that Mozart gives us detailed instructions — particularly in “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Così fan Tutte” and, his last and wisest opera, “La Clemenza di Tito” — for how to ask for and to give forgiveness, how to make amends, how to rise to an occasion in such a way to improve society. Some of Levine’s most persuasively illuminating performances happened to revolve around compassionately confronting the frailties, foibles and outright crimes of Mozart’s characters as they are coaxed into an examination of inner lives.

In Mozart – and in Levine’s best Mozart — clemency can lead to redemption. Is this just more mere “exotic and irrational entertainment,” as Samuel Johnson (who died in 1784, a year before Mozart began writing his mature operas) described opera? Or do we dare risk bringing the scales of justice into the opera house, with Mozart being the standard which we are all asked to live up to?

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ar ... story.html
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:12 pm

Arrested development and a sense of entitlement may or may not explain anything about Levine. It sounds like psychobabble to me.

Fot the public to believe that Levine's accusers are credible is not to imply that Levine is guilty till proven innocent. The maxim about innocence applies in the courtroom, not in the court of public opinion.

Meantime, neither in a Mozart opera nor in life, does one gain the forgiveness, clemency and redemption Swed genuinely seems to want the public to grant Mr. Levine by issuing, as Levine did, a curt dismissal of these credible accusations as unfounded. Levine has to do something to earn such absolution. For starters. remorse may be in order if he has in fact violated even a single young person entrusted to him. But the bald, blanket plea of 'unfounded' just doesn't cut it with a lot of people.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by John F » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:38 pm

I agree that Swed's argument is odd and somewhat incoherent, but I posted it anyway because at the beginning he makes what I think is a valid point. The Met and other organizations have canceled performances Levine was contracted to give, though the authorities have concluded that he committed no crime. (The four accusers were all over the age of consent at the time, and since nobody's talking rape, evidently they did consent, though of course we don't know the details.) Nonetheless, those organizations are acting on the assumption that Levine is guilty - of something, they can't say what - and those actions are doing him real harm, so they amount to punishment. Swed finds this "deeply disturbing," and so do I, based on what we do and don't know now.

You speak of public opinion. We don't know if the public, however defined, believes Levine's accusers are credible. The public hasn't been asked. No doubt those organizations have acted as they did from fear of adverse public opinion toward themselves, that is the public that matters to them, but they didn't take the time to find out. As for the public in general, I have a pretty dim view of the so-called wisdom of the crowd. The crowd, in its wisdom, voted for Donald Trump. As for "the court of public opinion," it's a kangaroo court.
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:13 pm

I didn't hear anybody grousing about the "wisdom of the crowd" when its verdict on Levine was favorable. Swed himself brought up the matter of public opinion by implication when he alluded to the mobs in operas and stated that Levine had morphed from public legend to pariah in a matter of weeks.

Public opinion aside, I find the accusations against Levine credible and his behavior, if it occurred, reprehensible. The Met and all the other organizations did the right thing in severing ties. And, yes, it does amount to punishment for Mr. Levine's probable misdeeds that were not crimes, and yes, those punishments have been administered in the wake of incomplete knowledge and inconclusive proof.

Speaking of not knowing, we don't know what the Met's motives were in letting Levine go; maybe they were acting solely out of fear of bad publicity, as has been speculated here, but maybe they also thought they had to protect their young artists and musicians from a potential predator whose creepy behavior had been whispered about for decades, maybe both: we don't know--it's all speculation. But suppose they were simply interested in covering their asses, so what? It wouldn't be the first time an organization did the right thing for a less than noble reason.

Whether or not Levine's actions were criminal is moot at this point since he will not be charged. That means that in the absence of any alleged crime a less stringent standard of proof may apply. So acting, as the Met and others did, upon credible accusations of sexual abuse from separate individuals in different places at different times who have no apparent motive to lie, when the accused in his turn utters only a generic denial, is to act responsibly, in the interest of protecting young people.

But if Mr. Levine feels that he has been wronged, he has recourse: the nation's courts are available to seek redress for the harm he has suffered. Once he files suit against his accusers for defamation or against his former employers for breach of contract or wrongful termination, he may be called to testify under oath. So let's see if he does it.

The key point for me is not criminality but whether or not there was a betrayal of trust with young people entrusted to Levine in a position of authority. Let's suppose that his accusers were all of age and plenty willing. That wouldn't exculpate Levine: he was the teacher, he was the adult: it was incumbent on him to set boundaries. If he didn't, then for abuse of his authority alone he would have to be fired. Even by the Met. Even though the alleged misconduct occurred years ago somewhere else. For the Met (or Tanglewood, or Verbier, or Juilliard, or Ravinia) not to act and in effect give Levine a free pass to their young artists would have been negligent.

The separate accounts of the four accusers, however, agree on one point: these men did NOT believe they had fully consented; to the contrary, they felt that as boys or late adolescents they had been pressured and manipulated into a sexual relationship, one even claiming that Levine had deliberately Inflicted pain on him to obtain his compliance. If it happened that way, it was sexual abuse and for that too he would deserve to be fired.

None of this changes my opinion of the man as a wonderful musician. Far from being an evil person, Levine has done a lot of good for a lot of young musicians and singers. As one of Dutoit's accusers recently stated: "There is nothing wrong with him as a musician, but he has been allowed to operate as a predator . . ."
Last edited by jserraglio on Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:02 am

EXPLANATION FROM CHALKPERSON

Having been the victim of abduction, assault and sexual abuse by two men when I was aged fifteen, things can trigger my mind into remembering the ordeal, and that is a very frightening experience 47 years later.

I often suspected James Levine of being a monster, and JohnF gave the impression that he knew for decades, but didn't report it.

I assume most of the Met knew.

I was told by another DJ in 1986 that Jimy Saville was a necrophiliac, even molesting his dead mother.

I reported it to the BBC and all my journalist friends of the serious newspapers.

They knew he was a child molestor, but not the other part. They said he had Prince Charles lawyers protecting him, so they could not write a word until was dead.

When the story about Saville came out a few years ago, my friend Paul Gambaccini was arrested, but never charged. He went thru hell and even wrote a book about it. He was the one who told me Saville was a necrophiliac. Saville's Producer on Jim'll Fix It boasted that Savillealso like victims with missing limbs.

The Met should have gotten rid of Levine years ago, just for health problems, at least they got rid of him for these horrific offenses.

This post replaces the only remaining post that insulted JohnF.

The trauma of male rape at fifteen never leaves, i'm only telling the forum now as it has bearing on my character and thus, credibility.

The #metoo campaign triggered a great many many victims of male/male rape, but most of us preferred to remain quiet.

I only check in here now and again, so only saw the posts others had written last night, after a great of thought I decided to tell you the truth.

Im not a Troll, but my recent mental imbalance is due to the trauma described above, trust me, you never get over it.

My heartfelt apologies to JohnF, we may be adversaries, but he did not deserved to be insulted to that degree.
Last edited by Chalkperson on Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:59 am

Chalkperson wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:02 am
Quote deleted
Last edited by jserraglio on Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by lennygoran » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:33 am

jserraglio wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:59 am
Nutty.
For me it's worse than just nutty-an apology is definitely in order. Regards, Len :(

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:04 am

lennygoran wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:33 am
jserraglio wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:59 am
Nutty.
For me it's worse than just nutty-an apology is definitely in order. Regards, Len :(
Sounds like a plan. His two subsequent messages, containing further objectionable scapegoating and unhinged personal attack, have been deleted, which in 2017 I reckon counts as a peculiar sort of progress. Maybe the failure to delete the surviving message I quoted was an oversight.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by lennygoran » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:34 am

jserraglio wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:04 am
His two subsequent messages, containing further objectionable scapegoating and unhinged personal attack, have been deleted, which in 2017 I reckon counts as a peculiar sort of progress. Maybe the failure to delete the surviving message I quoted was an oversight.
Thanks for this update-I wasn't aware of the deletions-I'm very glad to hear that. Regards, Len

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:39 am

lennygoran wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:34 am
jserraglio wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:04 am
His two subsequent messages, containing further objectionable scapegoating and unhinged personal attack, have been deleted, which in 2017 I reckon counts as a peculiar sort of progress. Maybe the failure to delete the surviving message I quoted was an oversight.
Thanks for this update-I wasn't aware of the deletions-I'm very glad to hear that. Regards, Len
All three messages were posted the same day via Twitter. I decided to speak out when only TWO of them were deleted, in effect implying the remaining message was acceptable. But even that message is, in the poster's own words, "beyond shameful". 😡

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by maestrob » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:06 pm

MHO is that Chalkie may have been hacked by an impersonator, which is trying to ruin his reputation online. It's been known to happen to celebrities before........

I saw the two deleted messages when they first appeared and figured this was the case.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Ricordanza » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:54 am

maestrob wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:06 pm
MHO is that Chalkie may have been hacked by an impersonator, which is trying to ruin his reputation online. It's been known to happen to celebrities before........

I saw the two deleted messages when they first appeared and figured this was the case.
That's what I suspected.
Lance, any comments?

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by lennygoran » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:58 am

maestrob wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:06 pm
MHO is that Chalkie may have been hacked by an impersonator, which is trying to ruin his reputation online. It's been known to happen to celebrities before........

I saw the two deleted messages when they first appeared and figured this was the case.
Brian that thought never crossed my mind-it would be important to know if that's true. Regards, Len

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:57 am

lennygoran wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:58 am
...it would be important to know if that's true.
IIRC, personal attacks of a similar nature occurred about a year ago re: the Dylan Nobel Award. No doubt then about who was posting them b/c there were replies from me and other members and follow-up responses from the poster.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by lennygoran » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:51 am

jserraglio wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:57 am
IIRC, personal attacks of a similar nature occurred about a year ago re: the Dylan Nobel Award. No doubt then about who was posting them b/c there were replies from me and other members and follow-up responses from the poster.
I do remember how heated that debate was-how good a poet Dylan was? Don't know if all this answers the question of whether we were dealing with a hacker or not? Regards, Len

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:01 am

lennygoran wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:51 am
Don't know if all this answers the question of whether we were dealing with a hacker or not? Regards, Len
Why would a hacker delete two messages? Remorse? While leaving one message intact? Unconcerned about being traced?

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by lennygoran » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:24 am

jserraglio wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:01 am
Why would a hacker delete two messages? Remorse? While leaving one message intact? Unconcerned about being traced?
Just don't know but I have to admit that up until Brian brought up the idea of a hacker it had never crossed my mind-especially since there have been other examples of outbursts for no good reason imo-the westside highway truck attack. Regards, Len

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by barney » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:40 pm

Well good on the two of you for speaking up.
When I saw those posts, I didn't know what to do - I was embarrassed to read them. I thought replying might give them some sort of legitimacy. I now think it would have been better to question them immediately. Sorry, JohnF.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Belle » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:58 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:57 am
lennygoran wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:58 am
...it would be important to know if that's true.
IIRC, personal attacks of a similar nature occurred about a year ago re: the Dylan Nobel Award. No doubt then about who was posting them b/c there were replies from me and other

members and follow-up responses from the poster.
The person who wrote those posts (I read all of them before deletion) seems to have knowledge of JohnF and his physical appearance. And also about the manner in which he/she perceives John's posting style. This would have involved a considerable amount of reading.

I agree with jserraglio and I reject every single aspect of those comments with respect to JohnF - a very valued member of CMG. We should all have a 'no tolerance' policy towards internet trolls; they are poison. I've been on the consistent receiving end of such attacks myself elsewhere - of which I've written more than once - by a person who has real psychological problems. It's harmful, cowardly and completely unacceptable.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:09 pm

EXPLANATION FROM CHALKPERSON

Having been the victim of abduction, assault and sexual abuse by two men when I was aged fifteen, things can trigger my mind into remembering the ordeal, and that is a very frightening experience 47 years later.

I often suspected James Levine of being a monster, and JohnF gave the impression that he knew for decades, but didn't report it.

I assume most of the Met knew.

I was told by another DJ in 1986 that Jimy Saville was a necrophiliac, even molesting his dead mother.

I reported it to the BBC and all my journalist friends of the serious newspapers.

They knew he was a child molestor, but not the other part. They said he had Prince Charles lawyers protecting him, so they could not write a word until was dead.

When the story about Saville came out a few years ago, my friend Paul Gambaccini was arrested, but never charged. He went thru hell and even wrote a book about it. He was the one who told me Saville was a necrophiliac. Saville's Producer on Jim'll Fix It boasted that Savillealso like victims with missing limbs.

The Met should have gotten rid of Levine years ago, just for health problems, at least they got rid of him for these horrific offenses.

This post replaces the only remaining post that insulted JohnF.

The trauma of male rape at fifteen never leaves, i'm only telling the forum now as it has bearing on my character and thus, credibility.

The #metoo campaign triggered a great many many victims of male/male rape, but most of us preferred to remain quiet.

I only check in here now and again, so only saw the posts others had written last night, after a great of thought I decided to tell you the truth.

Im not a Troll, but my recent mental imbalance is due to the trauma described above, trust me, you never get over it.

My heartfelt apologies to JohnF, we may be adversaries, but he did not deserved to be insulted to that degree.

PS, i live four blocks from the WTC, another terrible ordeal I witnessed, that also triggered me recently, Len.
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by lennygoran » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:03 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:09 pm
PS, i live four blocks from the WTC, another terrible ordeal I witnessed, that also triggered me recently, Len.
Chalkie I live more than 4 blocks from the WTC-still that westside terrorist truck attack hurt Sue and I too--we've spent lots of time around that area-also 3 anniversaries celebrated at Windows on the World--am very glad you apologized to John F-hope to see you back in our forum on a more frequent basis. Regards, Len

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by John F » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:36 pm

Thank you, Chalkie. By the way, I didn't know about the Levine scandal until it broke in the papers; I'd been hearing gossip for years, but that's not knowledge.
John Francis

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:04 pm

That post means the world to me JohnF, the shame I felt after reading the responses last night was immeasurable, your response is that of a true gentleman, I can offer no finer words than that. X
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:38 am

Relieved the unfortunate misunderstanding about Levine has been resolved.

I used to live within sight of the WTC a long time ago, loved going there, or just staring out my living-room window at those wondrous towers, so I took the massacre of innocents that occurred there very personally, as did many others who had never even been there.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:30 am

jserraglio wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:38 am
Relieved the unfortunate misunderstanding about Levine has been resolved.

I used to live within sight of the WTC a long time ago, loved going there, or just staring out my living-room window at those wondrous towers, so I took the massacre of innocents that occurred there very personally, as did many others who had never even been there.
Well I've been there, and there were several hundred college schoolmates who died in the greatest act of terrorism of all time. (I am not exaggerating.) As to they're being "wondrous towers," a lot of people including myself considered them mediocre architecture, not that this makes any difference now. The big mistake they didn't make was hitting the Empire State Building. If it had fallen, it would have collapsed on its side and taken out many more important blocks of Manhattan, and many more hearts of the American people.

On 9/11, I was a teaching colleague of a woman who grew up in Jersey City and watched the twin towers going up. Many people do not realize that they were a relatively recent construction, about which I living in the Hudson Valley read frequently. Yes, the greatest terrorist attack of all time.

Edited to omit the double use of "about." Double things, don't you know, still sensitive about them.
Last edited by jbuck919 on Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by lennygoran » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:39 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:30 am
Well I've been there, and there were several hundred college schoolmates who died in the greatest act of terrorism of all time.
We had a regular series of Compuserve classical music opera forum dinners over the years and at one of them a very nice man in the forum was sitting next to Sue and myself-he was in the WTC when the attack began-he was able to get out and get back to his house in Hoboken before the second building got hit and they fell-I seem to recall his name was Russell-I can sort of picture him but can't remember too much more. I think he left the forum and moved to Chicago? He of course was so so lucky. Regards, Len

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Ricordanza » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:22 am

Thanks, Chalkie, for your post. As others have said, I would welcome your more frequent participation in this forum.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:24 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:30 am
As to they're being "wondrous towers," a lot of people including myself considered them mediocre architecture.
Wondrous in the sense of their inspiring awe, not offered as a praise of their architectural aesthetics, which (since you bring it up) were considerably more pleasing than you think.

Image
Last edited by jserraglio on Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:39 am

jserraglio wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:24 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:30 am
As to they're being "wondrous towers," a lot of people including myself considered them mediocre architecture.
Wondrous in the sense of their inspiring awe, not offered as a judgment on their architectural aesthetics, which nonetheless were considerably more appealing than experts at the time gave them credit for.

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At the time, I depended for ordinary TV broadcast from the tower at the top of the Empire State Building. The twin towers threw a visible shadow over that, and that is why the tower had to be transferred to one of them, unaesthetically, when it is impossible to imagine the Empire State without it unless one watches King Kong.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:54 am

The needle was a spoiler; the towers were supposed to be more or less identical. Whatever the critics may huff or puff about, I experienced the towers in their infancy as a thing of beauty. My heart raced every time I saw them (which was every day) in shifting sunlight or encircled by fog.

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maestrob
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by maestrob » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:54 am

Thank you, Chalkie, for your honesty and humility. Please accept my condolences for your unfortunate history, and feel free to post here (more often, hopefully). Life is complicated, and blowing one's stack is never a pleasant experience either for the subject or the objects. Let's all put this behind us.

Regards,

Brian

Lance
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Re: Levine finally getting shamed, decades overdue

Post by Lance » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:35 pm

Totally agree! Thank you.
maestrob wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:54 am
Thank you, Chalkie, for your honesty and humility. Please accept my condolences for your unfortunate history, and feel free to post here (more often, hopefully). Life is complicated, and blowing one's stack is never a pleasant experience either for the subject or the objects. Let's all put this behind us.

Regards,

Brian
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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