New School’s Mannes College of Music Prep has suspended David Oei, 64, after he was charged with forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. Oei is accused of groping a 15 year-old female student during a private lesson at his West 57th apartment.
He denies the charge, which has shocked a wide circle of musicians in and around the city. Oei, who has taught at the New School for 15 years, is also involved with Bennington. Friends believe him incapable of the alleged offence.
His wife, the violinist Eriko Sato, hugged her husband as he was allowed to leave court on his own cognisance. He will appear there again on May 11.
We may be reaching the point where unchaperoned lessons in a teacher’s apartment are simply inadvisable.