Mounting concerns at Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Posted on: November 6, 2018

“Days after one of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra’s top artistic advisers was arrested on child pornography charges, a dozen young musicians filed into a conference room at the Philharmonic’s headquarters and sought answers,” writes Kay Lazar in Monday’s (11/5) Boston Globe. “The tense Oct. 5 conversation turned to sexually suggestive messages sent to students by a man who had served as an associate conductor with the youth orchestra… Six years after conductor Benjamin Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the widely admired arts institution and its parent organization are in turmoil. Two of Zander’s closest advisers—David St. George and Benjamin Vickers—have been pushed out…. The Globe interviewed 14 current or former members of the youth orchestra … and two former staffers…. They … said there was no process … for reporting concerns…. [Elisabeth] Christensen, the managing director, said the organization just recently introduced and distributed a handbook to staff and issued an organization-wide harassment prevention policy and whistleblower policy, which ‘clearly outline healthy behavior and procedures for reporting misconduct.’ … Zander’s outfit offers students age 12 to 21 a no-cost, high-level entree into the classical music world.” 

Click here for resources from the League of American Orchestras on preventing sexual harassment.

Posted November 6, 2018

In photo: Benjamin Zander conducts the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra