Boston Symphony reiterates zero-tolerance policy for workplace sexual misconduct, severs ties with former music director Levine

Posted on: December 6, 2017

“On Sunday, New York’s Metropolitan Opera suspended James Levine, its revered former music director, after reports of allegations that Levine had engaged in improper sexual activity with teenagers dating back to the 1960s,” writes Jeremy Eichler in Tuesday’s (12/5) Boston Globe. “The Boston Symphony Orchestra, where Levine served as music director from 2004 to 2011, stated on Sunday that it had conducted a due-diligence process before hiring Levine for that position and that it had received no complaints about Levine during his time at the helm.… On Tuesday evening, the BSO issued a second statement to the Globe, offering more information about that hiring process: ‘While considering hiring James Levine as music director, through a third party, the Boston Symphony Orchestra adhered to due diligence in line with its employee hiring process, including a background check with a criminal screening and an analysis of any possible civil claims.…’ Referring to what it called ‘recent horrific allegations’ in the media, the BSO stated that it ‘and the classical music industry must seriously reflect on this moment and determine ways to ensure sexual misconduct has no place in our industry. Though the Boston Symphony Orchestra (including Tanglewood and the Boston Pops, among other programs) meets top industry standards on all issues of employee safety, the orchestra is reviewing its policies regarding work place abuse and harassment issues to make certain they continue to meet and exceed the highest standards.’… The BSO … said Levine ‘will never be employed or contracted by the BSO at any time in the future.’ ”

Posted December 6, 2017

Pictured: James Levine, former music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducting the BSO on opening night at Tanglewood in July 2006. Photo by Michael Dwyer