Breaking: Ex-Chetham’s teacher is found dead

Breaking: Ex-Chetham’s teacher is found dead


norman lebrecht

September 01, 2015

Fox News reports:  California music teacher Chris Ling killed himself in Sherman Oaks today as US Marshal served warrant in UK child abuse case.

Ling had been accused of misconduct with students of high school age while working as a violin teacher at Chethaam’s school in Manchester. Ten former Chetham’s students accused him of being a sexual predator.

chris ling

h/t: Ian Pace



  • La Donna del Largo says:

    Gosh, I wonder if having his name smeared all over the media as a child molester on the basis of an unproven accusation had anything to do with his deciding to end his life.

    • pooroperaman says:

      Don’t be silly. This wasn’t a final act of self-harm by a desperate, tortured man, it was a selfishly motivated attack on those denouncing him, who are far more hurt by it than he is, despite being still alive while he’s dead. The Guardian says so, so it must be true:

    • Anon says:

      You are of course entitled to your opinion and on the surface it is irrefutable.

      But try this, if you would:

      Imagine for a while that these things really happened. Allow yourself to consider the fact that the stories which have appeared in the press are the tip of the iceberg. Put yourself in the position of these women at that time. Think back to your school days, choose a teacher who meant a lot to you, then run some of these scenarios. Take your time. Really think about it in this way over a 24 hour period. Think about how the situation might develop over time. Imagine that it continues to happen over your entire school life. Imagine how you might feel telling your friends about it – who are equally powerless. Imagine that you tell a teacher and they don’t believe you, or perhaps they know its true but make you feel like its your fault because they want to cover it up. Really think hard about how you would be feeling. Its very difficult and unpleasant to do, I know, but really go for it.

      When you’ve tried this, I hope you reach the conclusion that this would not have happened to you because, as a young person, you had confidence, self esteem and a good support network around you. That you would have been strong enough to repel the advances of these individuals and you can’t imagine why anyone would be caught up in such events without in some way being complicit. Some women had this kind of experience with these individuals.

      Then imagine that you do not have these attributes. That you come from a broken household, you have low self esteem, you have no confidence and no support network, or something like that.

      Which group do think would be targeted by these individuals? This is called grooming, by the way.

      Now try the process again from this perspective.

      When you’ve done this, try to speak to someone who was directly connected to these events. And I mean anyone. Not necessarily the women themselves, but other musicians, contemporaries, students, friends, family, teachers who have some awareness of and connection with the events. Try to speak to a number of different people so you get a number of different perspectives.

      Then gauge the responses that you get and repost your opinion.

  • Dismissed Employee 12 says:

    It is a huge sadness that his predatory behaviour has possibly contributed to this outcome, and it may be some consolation to his victims whose lives have been ruined by his unacceptable actions at Chets.

    Bring on the Government Investigation as soon as possible to expose similar predatory behaviour with teachers and pupils in our music schools, and lets expose, in particular, the vile unacceptable predatory behaviour by former Headmaster of The Purcell School [redacted: see previous coverage on Slipped Disc]. God willing, all this cover up, and more, will be outed at the Purcell school, and other specialist music schools where Governors have made crass, dangerous misjudged decisions to the detriment of the reputations of the schools they govern.

    • Worried says:

      >>young musicians he sexually abused verbally

      Which means what exactly?

      • Dismissed Employee 12 says:

        Dear Worried,

        In reply to you comment, may I respectfully suggest you enter Purcell School into the search engine ( top right of this site) and read carefully the previous coverage on Slipped Disc regarding this serious and grave issue here.
        That is, if you haven’t already, and incorrectly consider verbal sexual abuse is not as unacceptable or damaging as physical sexual abuse?

        After learning about the disgraceful ‘cover up’ at Purcell School, (which has mentally scarred several severely damaged victims, cost several popular highly respected long serving teachers their jobs for simply reporting the abuse to the Governors), you may consider changing your username from Worried to

        Be prepared for some extraordinary reading…….

        • Worried says:

          Thank you for writing back. However I fear I may not have expressed the question clearly enough. Let me try again.

          You refer in your comment to “young musicians he sexually abused verbally”. When I asked, by way of clarification, “Which means what exactly?”, the question I was asking was not, where may I learn more about the case? I was intending to ask, and sorry for any ambiguity, what exactly do you mean by the phrase “sexually abused verbally”?

          Some jargon may be entirely comprehensible in the rather airtight and increasingly hysterical world of child abuse campaigners, but we layfolk, restricted as we are to using English in non-specialist ways, can sometimes be accidentally misled. Hence the importance of understanding what exactly is being said.

          For example the words “abuse” “abused” “abuser” (as per your phrase) are now stretched so thin as to be rendered more or less meaningless. They are currently expected to serve a spectrum of activities ranging from, at one end, the rape, torture or murder of toddlers to, at the other end, conversation between adults where at least one party dislikes what is said to them.

          Therefore, for example, Sidney Cooke “abused” the poor boy for whose murder he was later convicted. But so have university lecturers in the US apparently “abused” their students by what they would call “teaching” them (the “abuse” taking the form of placing source texts on the curriculum which some people do not like any more).

          So I ask again, what exactly do you mean by the phrase “sexually abused verbally”?

          • Worried says:

            No answer yet. Odd, as I’m sure you knew what you meant when you wrote what you did.

            Incidentally, I see that more recently, commenting on the “international pianist” posting, someone who goes by the name “william osborne” has written, inter alia:

            >>Just to be clear, the cases discussed here aren’t about rare off-color remarks and the like which are fairly forgiveable, but actual sexual assault

            So, for the third time, what did you mean (not, what are the facts in the case, but what was your use of English meant to express) when you wrote “sexually abused verbally”?