Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

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

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

At the time, the Met indicated that there were multiple allegations against Levine.

The Met did not release the specific findings of its investigation, which it said had included interviews with 70 people.

The 74-year-old Levine had been a towering figure in the company's history, ruling over its repertoire, orchestra and singers as music or artistic director from 1976 until he stepped down under pressure two years ago.

But his termination has dealt the Met a serious blow at a moment of vulnerability. His abusive conduct during his Met tenure has yet to be revealed in print.

The Boston Globe reported earlier this month that three of Levine's accusers said the conductor abused them when they were teenagers.

The Met said in its statement "the investigation also found that any claims or rumors 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 has been the most prominent classical musician to date to be called out publicly as a sexual harasser or abuser in the wake of the #metoo movement. The Lake County state's attorney's office in IL said in December it investigated a sexual abuse allegation of misconduct dating to the 1980s but concluded "no criminal charges can be brought" and cited multiple factors, including "the relevant age of consent in IL at the time of the alleged incidents". The man said Levine would lay naked with him and touched his penis.

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. 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. Levine served as music director at the Ravinia Festival - in Highland Park, Illinois north of Chicago - from 1973 to 1993.

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