Doublebass molestor may be cleared to teach again

Doublebass molestor may be cleared to teach again


norman lebrecht

February 18, 2017

Duncan McTier, 62, pleaded guilty in 2014 to indecent assault on young women from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and Purcell school in Hertfordshire.

He was given a three-month suspended sentence and 240 hours of community work.

Now the high court in London has ordered the education secretary to review a ‘draconian‘ ban on McTier resuming his teaching career.


  • Max Grimm says:

    Apparently said ban is worthless anyway, as ‘[Justice Kerr] also said [the ban] would have “no practical effect”, as McTier only teaches privately in the UK […]’ and ‘[…] lawyers acting for the education secretary accepted that the ban would not stop McTier from teaching young women privately in his home.’

  • Pamela Brown says:

    If they feel they have to study with this stinker, hopefully they will be wise enough to insist on taking an adult with them…

  • Derek Warby says:

    There were no minors involved; the young women were 17, 21 and 23. No sensationlasim, please.

  • John says:

    If the ban has no practical effect, why is this creep going through the courts to get it removed?

  • Emma says:

    The ban stopped him from being able to hide behind an establishment- or having the support of an establishment. which he did in the case of the RNCM. He was complained about, but because he was such a “big name” draw for the college the complaints were ignored, so more women had to deal with him. The three people that had complaints that were upheld and those went to court were only the few cases where the victim was brave enough to want to go through the appalling court process in these cases, relive the memory of it- for that to become public property and knowledge and deal with everyone knowing about something sexually horrible that happened to them. After what we saw in the tragedy of Frances Andrades- clearly an exceedingly difficult thing to do. It was only the bravery of the three women who spoke up that allowed this to come to light in the first place.

    The semantics about age are irrelevant: this is about abuse of trust and power: using his position to threaten students with breaking or making their careers if they refused his advances. Whether someone is 16 or 18 or 21 makes little difference to the victim of sexual abuse- its still traumatic, and the after effects last for years. Many of McTier’s students who didn’t go to court have since stopped playing because of him: he has singlehandedly put back the cause for female bass-players a generation. What about their careers?

    We can only hope that the music colleges have learnt their lesson and won’t be taking him on in any case with or without the ban- and that the news has been international enough to stop him being asked to teach abroad.

    Giving masterclass courses and teaching in colleges was a large part of what he offered prior to his sentencing. It seems he was/is teaching in both Zurich and Spain, which is surprising given what he was found guilty of, but even so, I imagine he’s lost a large amount of his pre-trial income.

    I am appalled that this has been overturned- the public statement that this is not acceptable behaviour and sexual predators should not be in the music-teaching profession has essentially also been rescinded.
    It has also sent the message that standing up and being brave enough to report a sexual predator, to prevent it happening to others, to stop a molestor like him being in the teaching domain is pointless. Who else would stand up now?
    He got a slap on the wrist and can go back to business as usual less than three years after his sentence. Shame his victims can’t, and I wonder how those who went to court must feel.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I was going to say some of these things in response to Derek’s appalling comment, but you have said it better than I would have, thank you. It is indeed disheartening that this seems to have set back so badly the work being done by people like Ian Pace if I remember his name right.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Reading the heading first, one asks oneself why one would want to molest a double bass, the player is embracing it anyway all the time.