Charles Dutoit denies sexual-misconduct allegations; Montreal Symphony launches independent investigation

Posted on: January 2, 2018

“Conductor Charles Dutoit on Saturday denied serious accusations of sexual misconduct that have caused major symphonies in Europe, Australia and the United States to suspend relationships with him,” writes Gregory Katz in last Saturday’s (12/23) Associated Press. “Dutoit’s office issued a statement saying the allegations ‘have absolutely no basis in truth’ and vowed to mount a meaningful defense…. Three opera singers and a classical musician had accused him of sexual assault in incidents they say occurred between 1985 and 2010…. ‘The allegations made against me are as shocking to me as they are to my friends and colleagues. I do not recognize the man or the actions being described in the media,’ Dutoit said in a brief statement…. ‘I am taking legal advice and plan to meaningfully defend myself and I believe within this current climate, media accusations on serious physical abuse do not help society tackle these issues properly if the claims are in fact not true.’

An Associated Press story last Sunday (12/24) reports that the Montreal Symphony Orchestra has “launched a sexual harassment investigation after receiving a complaint that names renowned conductor Charles Dutoit…. The probe by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, where Dutoit served as music director for nearly 25 years, comes after The Associated Press on Thursday reported allegations against him by three opera singers and a classical musician … The Montreal Symphony Orchestra said its executive committee on Saturday decided to have an independent third party conduct an investigation following the complaint to ‘establish the relevant facts’ and make recommendations on how to prevent sexual harassment. [Montreal Symphony] Spokesman Pascale Ouimet confirmed that the complaint refers to Dutoit. He also said it was not made by two women named in AP’s story.”

Posted January 2, 2018