Dutoit accused of sexual misconduct

Four women, among them the prominent soprano Sylvia McNair, accuse the veteran conductor Charles Dutoit of making unwanted advances, groping and other sexual misconduct, at times ranging from the early 1980s to 2010. Jocelyn Gecker of The Associated Press reports (via the Richmond Times-Dispatch):


No response yet from Dutoit, who has held such prominent posts as music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor and artistic adviser of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The 81-year-old, Swiss-born Dutoit currently is artistic director and chief conductor of the Royal Philharmonic in London.

UPDATE: Arthur Kaptainis, the veteran music critic who covered Dutoit during his 25-year-tenure as music director of the Montreal Symphony, owns up to not pressing sources on persistent “everyone knows” rumors of the conductor’s offstage behavior, and recalls a 1995 episode involving the Canadian journalist Natasha Gauthier, which she wrote about at the time, to no effect.

“[T]acit tolerance of the situation by people who were in the know” led to “the shock of a revelation that to many will be no shock at all,” Kaptainis writes for the Montreal Gazette:

Analysis: Music world chose to ignore allegations of Charles Dutoit's misconduct

To date, the Royal Philharmonic has “released” Dutoit from concert dates “for the immediate future.” The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra have canceled scheduled guest-conducting dates.

UPDATE 2: Dutoit denies the allegations: “I do not recognize the man or the actions being described in the media.”


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