Belfast Telegraph

Accused Charles Dutoit steps down early from Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Dutoit said the sexual assault allegations have “absolutely no basis in truth”.

Charles Dutoit has stepped down early from his role as principal conductor and artistic director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the organisation announced.

The world-renowned conductor faces allegations of sexual assault – which he denies – and had been due to step down in October 2019, a decision made before the allegations came to light.

At an emergency boardroom meeting RPO said it had decided, alongside Dutoit, to bring forward his resignation, saying his position had become “untenable”.

It added: “This decision has been made following allegations of inappropriate conduct by Mr Dutoit, which were first reported on December 21 2017.

“Whilst Mr Dutoit continues to seek legal counsel to defend himself, the protracted uncertainty and media reporting makes Mr Dutoit’s position with the Orchestra untenable.

“The RPO 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.”

It added that a “roster of distinguished guest conductors” will undertake Dutoit’s future projects with the orchestra.

Dutoit’s performances had already been cancelled by the RPO and a host of other symphonies across the globe including in Boston and Sydney after allegations came to light in December.

The Swiss-born 81-year-old was accused by four women of forcing himself on them.

The Associated Press had accounts from three opera singers and a musician alleging that Dutoit attacked them on the sidelines of rehearsals and performances with orchestras in five cities — Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Saratoga Springs, New York.

They alleged the incidents occurred between 1985 and 2010 in a variety of places, including a moving car, Dutoit’s dressing room, a hotel lift and his suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

Dutoit said the allegations have “absolutely no basis in truth”.

He called them “as shocking to me as they are to my friends and colleagues”, adding: “I do not recognise the man or the actions being described in the media.”

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