Renowned conductor Charles Dutoit is to leave the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, almost two years earlier than expected as a result of allegations of sexual violence.
Dutoit, the orchestra’s principal conductor and artistic director, had to come down to October 2019.
Following an emergency meeting of the board of directors, however, his departure has been brought forward and that will leave immediately.
In the month of December, three singers and a musician accused Dutoit to force himself on them, which he denied.
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“While Mr. Dutoit is constantly in search of legal counsel to defend himself, the enduring uncertainty and the media makes Mr. Dutoit position with the orchestra unsustainable,” with headquarters in London, the orchestra said in a statement.
“The ORCHESTRA is committed to the highest standards of ethical behaviour and takes very seriously its responsibility to maintain a safe working environment for all its artists, musicians, and staff.”‘Without foundation’
Dutoit has conducted at major opera houses and has been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, winning twice. He has led the ORCHESTRA since 2009.
Retired opera singer Paola Rasmussen claimed that he approached her in her dressing room, while another singer, Sylvia McNair, the complaints of having “tried to have his way” with her in 1985.
The other two accusers, who asked to remain anonymous, made similar allegations to the Associated Press news agency.
In a statement, Dutoit said the “serious” accusations “that involves coercion, forced physical contact” was “absolutely no foundation in truth.”
He said: “The allegations against me are as shocking to me as are my friends and colleagues. I didn’t recognize the man or the actions described in the media.”
A number of other orchestras distanced themselves from the Swiss conductor when the claims emerged.
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