Musical director James Levine fired by Met Opera for 'sexually abusive' conduct

Met opera fires conductor after sexual misconduct probe

In December, Levine was suspended from his posts as music director emeritus and head of its young artist program; he was sacked this week after an internal investigation revealed "sexually abusive and harassing conduct".

The statement also notes "credible evidence that Mr. Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct towards vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers, over whom Mr. Levine had authority".

One of the documents examined during the investigation was a police report that had been filed in Lake Forest, Illinois, in October 2016, in which an unidentified man claimed that he had been the victim of sexual abuse by Levine three decades ago when he was 15 and the conductor was 41.

He held the position of music director emeritus and remained head of its young artists program, but was suspended on December 3 after accounts surfaced in the New York Post and The New York Times of sexual misconduct dating back to the 1960s.

Levine has always been one of the most famous maestros in the world of classical music, and for more than 40 years his career has been entwined with the Met, where he served as music director from 1976-2016. Pai grew up near the festival, where Levine was music director, and wanted to become a conductor.

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.

We thank the more than 70 individuals who were interviewed during the course of the investigation.

The Met said in its statement: "The investigation also found that any claims or rumours that members of the Met's management or its board of directors engaged in a cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated". Levine previously said in a statement: "As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor".

Chris Brown, a member of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for three decades, said that Levine masturbated him and encouraged him to reciprocate when he was 17 at the Meadow Brook School of Music in MI.

The leading USA opera house had already suspended Levine in December after allegations first became public against him. 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.

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