Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Charles Dutoit steps down from RPO post

2:30, 10th January 2018

Charles Dutoit has resigned as artistic director and principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) following allegations of inappropriate conduct.

The conductor, who has been the RPO’s artistic director since 2009, was due to step down from the role in October 2019, but decided to relinquish the post ‘with immediate effect’ following ‘an emergency board meeting’, according to a statement from the RPO.

The statement continued: ‘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.’

Dutoit has rejected allegations that he forced himself onto three opera singers and a classical musician between 1985 and 2010.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony have also distanced themselves from the conductor, and Dutoit has withdrawn from engagements with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra.

Responding to the allegations, Dutoit said: ‘The allegations made against me are as shocking to me as they are to my friends and colleagues. I do not recognise the man or the actions being described in the media.

‘I am taking legal advice and plan to meaningfully defend myself and I believe within this current climate, media accusations on serious physical abuse do not help society tackle these issues properly if the claims are in fact not true.’


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