Two U.K. studies look into bullying and harassment in classical music

Posted on: December 7, 2017

News of sexual-abuse charges against the Metropolitan Opera’s former music director, James Levine, “broke on the same day that BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters programme carried an item on bullying and sexual harassment in classical music,” writes Michael Dervan in Wednesday’s (12/6) Irish Times (Dublin). “Britain’s Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) carried out a survey of its members. ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts said that, of the 250 responses received, ‘60 per cent are reporting discrimination of some sort … and the chief form of discrimination is … sexual harassment’ … primarily in orchestras and ensembles but also in schools and conservatories…. 75 per cent of victims choose not to report sexual harassment…. Another survey … by Arts Professional magazine in October and November … was not restricted to musicians and received 1,580 responses, most of them from Britain. It revealed that 80 per cent of its respondents were aware of harassment having taken place, 48 per cent had experienced it personally, and in 69 per cent of cases the perpetrator was in a more senior position.… Arts Professional’s editor Frances Richens spoke of a lack of capacity within arts organizations to deal with instances when they occur and also in some instances a lack of willingness, too.”

Posted December 7, 2017