Met fires James Levine after misconduct investigation

James Levine in 2009

James Levine in 2009

The New York Times reported that the Met ended its association with the conductor on Monday evening after an investigation that found what the Met called credible evidence that Levine had engaged in "sexually abusive and harassing conduct". After that, Mr. Levine held an emeritus role.

The investigation "uncovered credible evidence that Levine engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met", said the company in a statement.

In a statement on its website, the Met said it was "terminating" its relationship with Levine as Music Director Emeritus and artistic director of its young artist program.

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Consequently, "it would be inappropriate and impossible for Levine to continue to work at the Met", Efe quoted the statement as saying.

Meanwhile, the Met said that complaints and rumours that its officials or board of directors had covered up Levine's conduct were completely unfounded, adding that it seeks to ensure that its employees and artists have a safe and abuse-free environment in which to work. The Met did not release the specific findings of its investigation, which it said had included interviews with 70 people. The move comes after Levine was suspended in December following a report detailing the allegations in the New York Times. Charles Dutoit, the former music director of the Orchestre de Montreal and a prominent guest conductor around the globe, has also been alleged to be a perpetrator. Levine served as music director at the Ravinia Festival - in Highland Park, Illinois north of Chicago - from 1973 to 1993.

Chris Brown said that Levine had abused him in the summer of 1968, when he was a 17-year-old student at the Meadow Brook School of Music in MI and Levine led the school's orchestral institute. His health worsened in 2006, when he tripped and fell on the stage of Boston's Symphony Hall during ovations that followed a performance and he tore a rotator cuff, which required shoulder surgery. He had another operation that September after falling and damaging a vertebra, an injury that sidelined him until May 2013. Law enforcement officials said past year that they would not bring criminal charges against Levine, noting that while the state's age of consent is now 17 - and 18 in some cases - it was still 16 in 1986. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will take up the post of music director at the Met next season. "Such commitment to the future is essential if the institution wishes to attract the world's finest musicians, several of whom have already departed due to wage cuts, among other workplace issues".

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