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Friday, October 26, 2018

Nancy Pearcey @LifeZette: #MeToo Movement Roils Classical Music World

By Rick Pearcey • October 26, 2018, 12:42 PM

Pearcey Report editor at large Nancy Pearcey writes at LifeZette:

Officials with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra are facing a federal sexual harassment complaint by primary oboist Katherine Needleman (pictured above left) against concertmaster Jonathan Carney. She claims he propositioned her for sex, then retaliated when she denied his advances. (The concertmaster is second in importance only to the conductor.)

The Cleveland Orchestra’s concertmaster, William Preucil, celebrated as the best in the country, was recently suspended. Violinist Zeneba Bowers charges that after assaulting her, Preucil threatened to blacklist her if she told anyone.

Even world-renowned conductors have been ousted. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London canceled conductor Charles Dutoit’s appearances "for the immediate future" following allegations of sexual assault, including rape.

The Metropolitan Opera in New York City fired star conductor James Levine earlier this year, saying it found credible evidence that he engaged in "sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met."

Charles Dutoit? James Levine? I grew up in a musical home (and attended college on a full-tuition violin scholarship), so these are names I've known since my teens, always spoken with reverence.

Yet these revelations did not come as a great shock to some people in the classical music world.

I interviewed a husband and wife who work as professional musicians and teach at the university level. They said the pervasiveness of sexual harassment "has been known for years, but nobody did anything about it."

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