It has been announced today that conductor Charles Dutoit has stepped down as Artistic Director of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra effective immediately – following allegations last month of sexual misconduct.
The announcement comes after last month’s exposé by the Associated Press regarding four accusers’ accounts of alleged sexual assault by the veteran conductor – incidents spanning from 1985 to 2010.
The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Sydney Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have all since issued statements cancelling all upcoming engagements with the 81 year old.
Dutoit has adamantly denied all misconduct, claiming in a statement that the allegations “have absolutely no basis in truth”.
“The allegations made against me are as shocking to me as they are to my friends and colleagues … I do not recognise the man or the actions being described in the media,” he has said.
Dutoit served as Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1977 until 2002 – as well as long term principal positions with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony and the Orchestre National de France.
These allegations come just weeks after conductor James Levine was suspended from New York’s Metropolitan Opera – pending an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including the sexual assault of a 15 year old boy.