Disgraced Levine: Met Opera delivers coup de grace


Additional reports soon followed from Chris Brown and James Lestock, leading to Levine's suspension.

The Metropolitan Opera in New York City on Monday announced on Monday it fired famed conductor James Levine after the conclusions of an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

"Mr. Levine will not be involved in any Met activities, including conducting scheduled performances at the Met this season", the Met said in a statement at that time.

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The Met said more than 70 individuals were interviewed during the course of the investigation.

The music director emeritus was suspended in December after allegations emerged that Levine sexually abused one man three decades ago beginning when the man was a teenager.

The Met said in its statement "the investigation also found that any claims or rumors that members of the Met's management or its board of directors engaged in a cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated".

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Earlier during the investigation, Levine denied the allegations stating the accusations were "unfounded" and that "I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor". Levine was to begin a five-year term as Conductor Laureate in the summer of 2018.

Jessica Philips, a clarinetist in the Met who chairs the orchestra committee, sent NPR a statement about Levine's firing: "While this termination of the Met's relationship with Levine obviously brings a certain degree of closure, it is our hope that the Met's early introduction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin [its newest music director] portends a willingness to invest more robustly both in talent and creating a healthy workplace culture".

Albin Ifsich, who went on to have a long career as a violinist in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, said that he had been abused by Levine for several years, beginning at Meadow Brook and continuing after he joined the group of young musicians who followed Levine to Cleveland and later NY. Three decades later - after, Pai said, therapy had helped him realize how destructive those encounters had been - he detailed his accusations in the fall of 2016 to the Lake Forest Police Department in IL. Met officials said they were launching an investigation. He was, for a time, musical director for the Cincinnati May Festival and has occasionally returned to Cincinnati to conduct.

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