Renowned conductor, James Levine, sacked by New York's Metropolitan Opera


New York's Metropolitan Opera said on Monday that it had fired its longtime conductor and musical director James Levine after an inquiry found "credible evidence" to support accusations against him of sexual misconduct.

The Met reported, however, that they found no substantiating evidence that the Met's management or its board of directors "engaged in a cover-up of information".

The company suspended Levine in December in light of the allegations, which span from the 1960s through the 1980s. Charles Dutoit, the former music director of the Orchestre de Montreal and a prominent guest conductor around the globe, has also been alleged to be a perpetrator.

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"While this termination of the Met's relationship with Levine obviously brings a certain degree of closure, it is our hope that the Met's early introduction of Yannick Nezet-Seguin portends a willingness to invest more robustly both in talent and creating a healthy workplace culture", clarinetist Jessica Phillips, chair of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Committee, said in a statement.

Levine has denied the allegations, calling them "unfounded".

Chris Brown said that Levine had abused him in the summer of 1968, when he was a 17-year-old student at the Meadow Brook School of Music in MI and Levine led the school's orchestral institute.

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Levine started conducting from a chair in late 2001 and tremors in his left arm and leg became noticeable a few years later. In total Levine conducted more than 2,500 performances with the company and was an influencer in classical music.

Levine began his musical career in his hometown, making a solo debut during a youth concert with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra when he was 10.

Ashok Pai said he had been abused by Levine for years, beginning in 1986 near the Ravinia Festival in IL, when he was 16. Three decades later - after, Pai said, therapy had helped him realize how destructive those encounters had been - he detailed his accusations in the fall of 2016 to the Lake Forest Police Department in IL. He was, for a time, musical director for the Cincinnati May Festival and has occasionally returned to Cincinnati to conduct.

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