James Levine, longtime maestro of the Metropolitan Opera, has been suspended by the company following reports that he is under investigation by Illinois authorities concerning an alleged sexual affair with a teenage boy in the 1980s, and two subsequent charges of similar misconduct in the 1960s.
The initial charge became public in this article in the New York Post:
Charges of earlier misconduct by Levine came in this article in The New York Times:
The Times reports that the Met, which has been aware of the Illinois charge since October 2016, is launching its own investigation.
The 74-year-old conductor has not commented on the allegations. Levine has denied rumors about his personal life for three decades.
The latest charges come from men who in the late 1960s were teenaged students in the summer program of the Meadow Brook School of Music in Michigan. Levine was a faculty member.
UPDATE 1: In a post on his Slipped Disc blog, the veteran classical-music journalist Norman Lebrecht lists the institutions with which Levine has been affiliated, and how or whether they responded to persistent rumors about the conductor’s sexual predilections.
Under the heading “Everyone Else,” Lebrecht writes: “Hundreds in the music world heard stories. No one did anything. We all need to ask if our standards of conduct were good enough and if our consciences are clear that we did enough to protect vulnerable young persons.”
UPDATE 2: A fourth man comes forward with an accusation of sexual misconduct by Levine, again at the Michigan summer music camp in the 1960s, and the leader of the MET Orchestra committee says that among the musicians, “the general feeling is of anguish.” The Times’ Michael Cooper reports:
UPDATE 3: Levine, after several days of silence, denies allegations of sexual misconduct. Following his statement, two of his accusers stand by their charges: