Conductor is bailed in sex abuse case

Conductor is bailed in sex abuse case


norman lebrecht

November 21, 2013

A former conductor of the Ulster Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic has been named as one of four men bailed by Greater Manchester Police in the course of investigations into child abuse at Chetham’s and the Royal Northern College of Music during the 1970s and 1980s. The other three have been previously named by police.

Nicholas Smith, 65, of Macclesfield, Cheshire, had his bail extended yesterday to February 2014. He has been questioned about alleged offences against a girl of 15.

Police said they were investigating 10 key suspects. None has yet been charged. Presumptions of innocence apply.



  • David Byers says:

    Greetings Norman,

    Just to clarify one aspect of this story: to the best of my knowledge the Ulster Orchestra has never had a “Staff Conductor” post as such.

    This seems to be one of those exaggerations which appear on CVs!

    Nicholas Smith was a guest conductor for a small number of concerts (mainly out-of-town small-scale venues) between November 1979 and January 1980.

    Best wishes,

    David Byers

  • Janey says:

    I am not entirely sure about this verbiage. Does this mean he was arrested and released, as in the US?

  • prewartreasure says:

    Janey: you will see that bail was “extended” [sic] which normally means that either the police have not concluded their investigation, or the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) have yet to decide whether or not to indict him.

    • Janey says:

      I see. Thank you very much. In the US, it is not possible to “bail” anyone unless they have been arrested and indicted, hence my confusion.