Former BSO Conductor Being Investigated for Sexual Abuse

  • Former BSO Conductor Being Investigated for Sexual Abuse

Former BSO Conductor Being Investigated for Sexual Abuse

The Metropolitan Opera in New York City is launching an investigation into conductor James Levine, based on a 2016 police report filed in IL by a man who alleges he was molested as a teenager by Levine 30 years ago, the Met Opera announced Saturday.

Shortly after the article appeared online, The New York Times reported that Met officials had been aware of the allegations since past year, but that Levine had denied them. Levine, 74, retired as Met music director at the end of the 2015-16 season for health reasons but remains music director emeritus at the prestigious NY opera house. New York's Metropolitan Opera says it will investigate allegations that its longtime conductor, Levine, sexually abused a teenager in the mid-1980s. The victim said he had aspirations of becoming a conductor and first met Levine when he was only four years old.

The New York Post was the first media outlet to publish a story about these allegations Saturday. The man told police that Levine touched his penis while laying naked with him in bed.

The Met tweeted on Saturday evening that it was "deeply disturbed by the news" about Levine and announced their investigation with "outside resources to determine whether charges of sexual misconduct in the 1980s are true, so that we can take appropriate action".

The victim claimed in his report that similar behavior went on for years.

During a long and distinguished career, Levine was nominated for 37 Grammy awards.

He also said that his relationship with Levine extended well into adulthood and that the composer gave him money over the years when he was having financial problems, amounting to more than $50,000. He was music director of the Metropolitan Opera for 40 years and now is director emeritus.

"The BSO finds this information deeply disturbing and awaits the findings of further investigations on the matter".

Now, Gelb said, "we need to determine if these charges are true and, if they are, take appropriate action". The allegations come with the United States reeling from a firestorm of sexual misconduct claims that have ended a litany of powerful careers and rocked USA industries from Hollywood to news to politics.

Mr Levine has not commented publicly on the accusations.