Doubts are cast on New York Post allegations

Doubts are cast on New York Post allegations


norman lebrecht

December 20, 2017

Dozens of New York musicians have contacted Slipped Disc to argue that the allegations of sexual abuse against the Met staff conductor Joseph Colaneri are unfounded.

They say the lone complainant is a musician with a history of making unfounded accusations against her colleagues and pursuing them with hoaxes. She has also been involved in social media storms. Her claims to the New York Post were not independently verified. No other person has come forward with a claim against Colaneri.

The conductor has made the following statement: ‘Truth and integrity are core values by which I live. The allegations which were made against me in the New York Post article of December 17, 2017, are categorically false and completely unfounded. This has been a devastating experience for me and my family.’

Unlike James Levine, who has been accused of several offences, Colaneri has not been suspended by the Metropolitan Opera, or by Glimmerglass Opera where he is artistic director.

Mannes College of Music has issued an interim refutation of the claim that Colaneri used his influence recently to get the complainant fired. It said: ‘Based on our initial review of the facts, Mr. Colaneri had no involvement in the decision to terminate her employment. She was fired for multiple violations of university policy regarding her conduct involving students.’

On this basis, we believe the accusations against Colaneri must be regarded as dubious.



  • Scott Scully says:

    You posted the Post’s article without even checking any facts!

    • norman lebrecht says:

      We posted the Post article as something that appeared in the Post, and with stated reservations.

      • RFS says:

        When you reprinted the anonymous accusations in the NY Post, you protected yourself from by noting that these had not been verified. What did you do to protect Mr. Colaneri from what amounts to McCarthyism by the press?

  • Stephen Moore says:

    Let’s hope that Mr Colaneri pursues legal actions, including against individual websites and bloggers who re-printed the story without checking facts. Good luck to him. Yet more evidence for reinstating the principle of innocent until proven guilty. And people who don’t know the facts should shut up. In the UK another man’s life was nearly ruined by a lengthy prison term had it not been for the police releasing previously withheld evidence showing the accused to be entirely innocent. The witch hunt must end before more innocent lives are destroyed.

  • Malcolm James says:

    Whatever bad behaviour may have come to light recently, both in classical music and other areas, I imagine that this is far from the only allegation which is either totally false or at least distinctly overcooked. Always beware of the ‘flying saucer effect’. If a parent sent in a heavily photoshopped photo to a newspaper purportedly showing them and their children standing in the garden in front of a flying saucer and the paper printed it and asked for others who had had a similar experience to come forward, all of a sudden a number of people would come forward with similar stories.

    • Steve P says:

      Name one example of a false allegation where the public has leapt to judgement before actual evidence is presented at trial? How dare you impugn the good nature of internet denizens, sir!

  • Been Here Before says:

    Sadly, the accuser just did a huge disfavor to all the real victims out there.

    I agree, the due process has to be respected and facts, and only facts considered. However, I still believe there are many people who have been harmed by vicious acts.

  • Alex says:

    So name her. Why does she get to hide in the darkness and lob out anonymous accusations while this poor guy is forced to defend himself out in the open?

  • For Pete’s Sake says:

    Reporters, please Google your sources.

    Employers, please Google your job applicants.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Very discouraging that a (an apparently) false allegation is trumped up (sorry, it was a word before DT) by journalists. These avaricious journalists are just riding the wave of sexual abuse scandals and lack any understanding or adherance to the law. Maestro Colaneri has a good reputation on which to weather this situation, but at what cost, both emotionally and financially.

      Look before you leap, folks. There may be rain, even hail, at present, but the sky is not falling, Chicken Little.

    • Sue says:

      Precisely. And it’s what employers do anyway

    • Janet E. says:

      Let the Post know what you think! I have! Googling her is the LEAST they should have done. May there be a big libel settlement for Joe

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    • Tiredofthis says:

      Absolutely…even the most unsophistocated and internet-challenged people could have found out about this woman with a simple Google search. Shameful that a news organization apparently did not and proceeded blindly to report an allegation.

  • Raymond says:

    and the best NL can manage is “doubts are cast”

    why not “accuser appears to be a whack job – never mind”?

  • Jill Bosworth says:

    Joe Colaneri is a man of impeccable integrity, and I had the honor to work with him for many years. It breaks my heart that he has
    been been sandbagged by a notorious troublemaker. She should be ashamed. The Post should be sued. Good luck, Joe.

    • Linda Ganus says:

      I agree with the above commentator. Joseph Colaneri is one of the most honorable musicians I have had the privilege of working with for many years. I am so sorry he and his family have had to deal with an apparently unstable accuser.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    I did. Thank you for the addresses. I hope others will take the initiative as well.

  • Jack says:

    Maestro…sue her drawers off. She needs to be stopped from this and manyother shenanigans…

  • Neil Eddinger says:

    Our world is on the verge of moral colapse when a newspaper can print such a vicious, damaging lie based on the word of one anonymous woman, withought proof or other witnesses and without the slightest investigation. If the Post had even a modicum of responsibility they would have checked this woman out and discovered what the rest of us know: she is a malignant sociopath with a shocking history. Checking out the victim would have revealed a long, distinguished career without the slightest inuendo of improper behaviour. Where are the “me,too”s and the pattern of abuse that we see in other cases? Sexual predation is a social problem that needs a good public airing but it turns into a Reign of Terror when one man can be ruined by a single anonymous accusar and condemned in the Press without an investigation.