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Montreal Symphony Orchestra investigating sexual harassment complaint against Charles Dutoit

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra announced Saturday it is launching an investigation into a sexual harassment complaint against former artistic director Charles Dutoit.

“This decision is motivated by the fact that the management of the OSM has, for the first time, received at the end of yesterday afternoon a complaint of this nature,” OSM said in a news release.

OSM says the investigation will be conducted by a third party.

Vice-president of the association of the OSM, Marc Béliveau, has been with the orchestra since 1990 and said he hopes others have the courage to stand up.

“Ask me if I’m surprised and the answer is, no. But mostly I’m really sad,” Béliveau said.

Dutoit, who married Canadian violinist Chantal Juillet in 2010, was the artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra between 1977 and 2002.

He resigned amid complaints from the Quebec Musicians’ Guild about “offensive behaviour and complete lack of respect for the musicians.”

Symphonies sever ties

Recently, symphonies in Boston, San Francisco and Sydney had severed ties with Dutoit.

Meanwhile, classical orchestras in New York, Chicago and Cleveland announced that he’s withdrawn his services for upcoming concerts, including at the Royal Philharmonic in London, where currently Dutoit serves as artistic director and principal conductor.

The reaction followed graphic sexual assault accusations made by three opera singers and a classical musician to The Associated Press.

CBC | Arts News