The President and CEO of Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center is reacting to a report by the Associated Press that famed conductor Charles Dutoit is accused of several cases of sexual misconduct. The AP reports the 81-year-old Dutoit is being accused by four different women involved in classical music of sexual assault — including an incident in Saratoga Springs when Dutoit was working with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2006. President Elizabeth Sobol, who joined SPAC in 2016, says the organization is “mortified to hear that this behavior happened on the grounds of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center where, needless to say, it would not have been tolerated then or now.” Sobol went on to praise the “courage” of victims who have come forward. Dutoit is principal conductor of London’s Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sobol's full statement:
“We are mortified to hear that this behavior happened on the grounds of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center where, needless to say, it would not have been tolerated then or now. The courage of the victims who have come forward gives us hope that this moment of reckoning we are experiencing in all facets of society will continue to amplify the voices of those who have faced harassment and bring about change to any culture that may have enabled such predatory behavior in the past.”
And the Boston Symphony Orchestra says it's severing ties with Dutoit, who conducted at Tanglewood in the Berkshires this past summer and had been on the BSO's calendar for 2018.
"Given the extremely troubling allegations against Charles Dutoit reported by Associated Press this morning, the Boston Symphony Orchestra will end its relationship with him and he will no longer appear as a guest conductor with the orchestra. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is committed to a zero tolerance policy towards anyone who exhibits inappropriate behavior in the workplace, and behavior that runs counter to these core values will always be met with serious consequences."