Monday, March 12, 2018

Met Fires Levine

Michael Cooper has the story: James Levine's Final Act at the Met Ends in Disgrace.

What a surprise!

Yes, after 40 years of rumors, the Met was able to determine, in just three and a half months, that there's credible evidence that Levine abused young musicians over whom he had authority. They found evidence that this happened both before and during his employment at the Met. "During" is especially interesting, because the published reports are mostly from the late 60s and early 70s, before he joined the Met.

The Met is not releasing any details beyond saying that their investigation included interviews with more than 70 people. This part of the Times article is....interesting:
But some questions arose early on about how the company had handled the case, including the fact that it began its investigation more than a year after Peter Gelb, its general manager, was first told that the police in Illinois were investigating an accusation that Mr. Levine had sexually abused a teenage boy there in the 1980s.
Mr. Gelb has said he briefed the leadership of the Met’s board about the police investigation and spoke with Mr. Levine, who denied the accusations. But Mr. Gelb said that the company took no further action, waiting to see what the police found.
The Met said that its investigation, which was led by Robert J. Cleary, a partner at the Proskauer Rose law firm who was previously a United States attorney in New Jersey and Illinois, had determined 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.”
Well, Anthony Bliss knew about the rumors, because of an anonymous letter, and he has to have passed the information along to his immediate successors (Bruce Crawford and Hugh Southern, then Joe Volpe). It's certainly curious that the Met was able to obtain enough information now to declare the accusations credible, but could not back in the day.

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