Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Who Is James Levine? Metropolitan Opera To Investigate New York City Conductor

Met Opera to investigate alleged conductor teen abuse Former BSO Conductor Being Investigated for Sexual Abuse
Kenny Thornton | 03 December, 2017, 08:24

The Metropolitan Opera announced Saturday it would investigate claims that its music director sexually abused a teenage boy decades ago, as the United States avalanche of misconduct allegations spread to classical music.

The conductor and pianist has held the position of Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and led the Metropolitan Opera from 1976 until April a year ago.

Accusations from a unnamed man, printed in The New York Times and New York Post, quoted a 2016 IL police report as saying the alleged abuse began in 1985, when the alleged victim was 15-years-old and Levine 41.

The statute of limitations for a potential sex crime in IL expired nine years before the alleged victim came forward against Levine in 2016, reports the Post.

Classic music insiders say Levine's alleged behavior was an open secret for years and once Kevin Spacey's reported antics were revealed, they were waiting for the other shoe to drop about Levine. Met officials said they learned of the police report past year. Levine continued to lead performances at the opera house.

Police investigated the matter and turned their findings over to the Lake County State's Attorney, the Post said.

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"He started holding my hand in a prolonged and incredibly sensual way", the Post quoted him as saying.

After a successful last-minute substitute podium debut at Ravinia in 1971 conducting Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony, Levine was named music director of the Highland Park music festival two years later. "I was very uncomfortable".

The opera announced it became aware of the allegations that Levine molested a teenager in the 1980s when IL police opened an investigation in October 2016. According to the report the victim said in a written statement "I began seeing a 41-year-old man when I was 15, without really understanding I was really "seeing" him".

Levine has been nominated for 37 Grammy awards and has bagged 10 of them.

The alleged abuse "nearly destroyed my family and almost led me to suicide". The alleger explains in the report that the misconduct continued as he sought a mentorship from the famed conductor, who had promised to see if he could "be raised special like me".

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