Culture&Arts

Charles Dutoit case: The MSO receives complaint

Charles Dutoit case: The MSO receives complaint

A Canadian orchestra is launching an investigation in the wake of sexual assault allegations against renowned conductor Charles Dutoit.

The mandate for the independent investigator will be to speak with the person who made the complaint "and with any other who could come forward", the statement said.

"The OSM is determined to maintain and intensify its unconditional commitment to respect the dignity and fundamental rights of its musicians and employees", the executive said in a press release.

The OSM announcement comes after Charles Dutoit rejected the allegations of sexual misconduct.

OSM says the investigation will be conducted by a third party. "I do not recognise the actions described", the 81-year-old told the Associated Press news agency by email on Saturday.

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He added that "although informal physical contact is common in the arts, serious accusations involving coercion and forced physical contact are in no way grounded".

The Philadelphia Orchestra, its chief conductor from 2008-12, later Friday also cut ties with Dutoit and said in a statement it has removed Dutoit's title of conductor laureate following the allegations of sexual misconduct.

The conductor went on to say that he was now taking legal advice and planning to "defend himself". "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".

Eight major symphonies have ended their relationships with Dutoit since The AP's story was published. Since the allegations were made public on Thursday, several American symphony orchestras (San Francisco, Boston, New York, Chicago, Cleveland) as well as the Sydney symphony orchestra have chose to suspend their collaboration with the Swiss conductor.


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