Boston Conservatory places faculty member on leave following abuse allegations

Posted on: December 14, 2017

“The Boston Conservatory at Berklee has cut ties with a high-profile professor … amid allegations of abusive behavior and sexual improprieties,” report Malcolm Gay and Kay Lazar in Wednesday’s (12/13) Boston Globe. “Eric Alexander Hewitt—a saxophonist, conductor, and gatekeeper to coveted performance berths for young musicians—was placed on leave [on Nov. 28] during a Globe investigation into alleged sexual mistreatment of women at the conservatory and beyond…. Boston College High School has [also] severed its contract with Hewitt, and Phillips Exeter Academy placed him on leave from an adjunct teaching position.… In multiple interviews … four former Boston Conservatory students described unwanted sexual advances by Hewitt—allegations that include bullying, lewd phone calls and text messages, propositions, and, in one incident, sexual assault.… The women’s accounts come in the wake of a series of Globe articles about a culture of blatant sexual harassment at Berklee College of Music … an institution that merged with the conservatory last year…. Eric Hewitt was … named chair of the conservatory’s woodwind department in 2005.” His responsibilities also included “conducting the school’s wind ensemble, sinfonietta, and composer’s orchestra, and serving as artistic director for the school’s New Music Festival.”

In an interview at Boston’s WBUR, Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown said the school is “putting everything on the table” to address allegations of sexual misconduct by faculty.

Posted December 14, 2017