Yuja Wang: I never had a problem with Charles Dutoit

The pianist has spoken up for one of her early mentors, accused by other women of sexual abuse.

In an interview with Platea she says:

‘Hay tanta hipocresía en todo esto… En mi propia experiencia, he trabajado en varias ocasiones con Charles Dutoit y siempre tuvimos una buena conexión musical, sin ningún problema.’

‘There is so much hypocrisy in all this … In my own experience, I have worked several times with Charles Dutoit and we always had a good musical connection, without any problem.’

 

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  • Disappointing comment of Wang. It’s not because nothing happened with Dutoit in her experience, that the accusers are hypocrites.

    • Perhaps you should depend more on the actual and whole interview and less on excerpts taken out of context, meant to steer the reader in a certain direction.
      The whole question and answer (Spanish to English by Google Translate)

      “As a woman and as an interpreter, do you have an opinion formed about the recent events with James Levine, Charles Dutoit and many others?

      If I tell the truth … no, I do not have an opinion. I do not want to avoid the answer, I have the feeling that any answer may sound demagogic. What surprises me most in all this is that behind the whole issue of sexual abuse there is a backdrop, with abuses of power. They are not separate things. And it is terrible to think that these abuses have come to light when the power of some of these musicians was already lower than they had a few decades ago. There is so much hypocrisy in all this … In my own experience, I have worked several times with Charles Dutoit and we always had a good musical connection, without any problem.”

    • Exactly. She is a very specific type – Asian, teenagey figure, someone who millennals and younger audiences and men who favor Asian women find attractive but not everyone.

      Contrary to what she may believe, hers is not a universal standard of beauty and she is not irresistible to all men. It’s pretty funny – very millennialesque and self-centered – that she’d make that assumption. Basically she’s saying “I am so sexy that Dutoit must be a moral man because he didn’t hit on me.”

      Come on, Dutoit is an old European guy. He’s not interested in some young Asian chick with the figure of a teenage girl. Never met the guy, but based on his age and background, I am sure he is interested in actual womenly women.

      • Amazing. How much time did you spend fantasizing about her inner thoughts? It must be a really nice feeling to be this convinced of the absolute truth of one’s fantasy. Furthermore you just have to tell everyone about the fantasies you have about her. Wow.

        Oh, and you fantasized a bit about Dutoit too. I see you have a very vivid imagination.

        • Dear Mr. Hsy: why are male Yuja fans who lust after her are always so defensive about her artistry, what she wears and every little thing she does? It’s obsessive. Nobody’s fantasizing here except you about Yuja.

          Look, it was not smart for her to come out with this opinion publicly, period. It’s not the same as wearing mini-skirts in concerts. It affects other women.

          Yuja is a great artist. She’s usually a pretty smart lady. She doesn’t need some nerdy starstruck fan like you to defend her. She’s not going to sleep with you, OK? Not in this lifetime or the next. So get over it, go back to your passive fantasies and stop accusing others of what you’re guilty of yourself.

          • Dear Opera Fan: I’m not male. Your fantasies about my inner thoughts is a fun read. Again, what a nice feeling it must be to be utterly convinced of the truthfulness if one’s imaginations.

            It’s a strange way for you to defend your own incoherent ramblings by saying Wang does not need defending. Yes I agree she does not need it. That does not mean you can say whatever you want without fear of anyone pointing out the stupidities in your comment.

            In any case, as others have pointed out, Norman deliberately took the sentence out of context to make it seem like she said the exact opposite of what she actually said.

        • OMG, HSY, what on earth is your problem, particularly if you are a woman? What is your personal vendetta against what I’ve said? This is a forum, a place where people express their opinions. What nerve have I struck that’s awakened the hostile, sarcastic bitch in you? Are you another Asian female with a teenaged girl’s figure or something? Geez. Count your blessings if you are.

          If you don’t like what someone else writes, fine, move on, but why go into this absurd psychobabble shit about fantasies and acting like you’re Sigmund Freud incarnate. It’s pompous and you bore me.

          Who cares if Norman used the article as clickbait. It’s his site, he can do it and we all know that’s how he rolls. We learn to read more carefully knowing that. I’ll have a closer look at the original Platea interview. It’s been more than annoying to see people rely on google translate as a verbatim source. Who knows what she was actually trying to say given the various language obstacles?

          Meanwhile, get off your high horse for God’s sake. You’re just being plain nasty.

          • I’m nasty for pointing out you should quit your bullshit? Fine.

            Speaking of psychobabble, nobody here can hold a candle compared to you in that regard. Just reread your first, second, and third comment. Develop some self-awareness, OK?

            BTW, do you know you have a very distinctive writing style? 😉

          • Yeah, I miss you terribly on Twitter. How are you doing these days? Are your kittens doing OK? I love that sketch you did for Trifonov, btw. I never did have a chance to tell you.

      • “someone who millennals and younger audiences and men who favor Asian women find attractive but not everyone.”

        I’m primarily gay/male and yet I do find her attractive so already this statement is falling to pieces.

        • I’m totally gay and although I am no fan of hers, I hope she is starting a trend… If next time Evgeny Kissin plays in London he says he will wear hot pants and a muscle t-shirt I will happily buy a ticket.

        • Steve, I find Ricky Martin attractive and I’m a hetero female. Being gay doesn’t hold one to a different sense of aesthetics. You’re male, you find her attractive. Some men do some don’t. Nothing to do with being gay or straight IMHO.

    • Martha Argerich, on the other hand, is totally his type. Has anyone asked Argerich what she thinks of all these accusations?

          • Really? . . . . that needs to be explained? Let’s put it this way: men aren’t ALWAYS the ones with the active libidos.

        • I hope i’m replying in the right place here; in any case, to Barry Guerrero: You haven’t given any explanation to the phrase: “…the victims of Argerich.” That is a fairly strong accusation; who are these “victims of Argerich?” Genuine question. I’ve always viewed Argerich as an instinctive, intuitive, natural musician who is generous to a fault with all her colleagues. Do you have specific information to imply, (or better still, prove) that MA is in any way a malign or evil influence who has damaged lives or careers?

          • You’re projecting. I meant precisely what I said and nothing more. The original statement from me, “ask the victims of Argerich”, was an attempt at humor based on the fact that M.A. does, or did, have a pretty healthy libido. It takes two to tango in this world. And no, I will not name names – there’s absolutely no need to.

        • Well, that’s a pretty feeble attempt at humor, unfunny, and giving a false impression. I wouldn’t think anyone’s libido is in question, and …Brava, Martha! But the abuse of power is the issue here, and i’ve never heard of any “victims” of Martha, whatever her romantic exploits are supposed to be. Rather a stupendously naturally gifted artist, over-generous to all her colleagues and very numerous collaborators- all ages, all genres…never any jealousy, even of beautiful newcomers, allowing the other always the Primo part in duos, if they wish….

          Your “humor” comes over as sleazy, slimy, slummy and squalid. You are also avoiding the real issue here: the abuse of power.

      • If I am not mistaken, MA has already made at least one public statement just a couple of months ago in which she expressed her highly positive opinion about CD’s character.

        • Then according to you, apparently both women who are and women who aren’t his type can work well with him. Therefore I’m mystified about the logical process that leads to your first comment, M2N2K. Would you care to explain your chain of thoughts here?

          • She doesn’t have a teenage-like body “versus a womanly one” – she just isn’t fat and out of shape, or stockily built (or pear or apple shaped) she’s in her 30s and a woman.

          • Thanks for asking, anon. First, you took my initial comment here much too seriously: it was a half-joking guess – neither a statement of fact nor even an expression of my strong opinion, which is why I used the word “apparently” as a modifier in it. The word “maybe” would possibly have been more precise. Second, vouching for CD’s decent behavior are YW and perhaps (according to my imperfect memory) MA – not me; therefore I have no way of knowing whether what they may have said is true or not. By the way, even if he was indeed always nice toward the two of them – whatever the “type” – it does not at all mean that he was never less than an impeccably perfect gentleman with all other women. Sure enough, it does not mean the reverse either.

        • It would be logical, and typically loyal of Martha to give moral and public support to Dutoit, ex-husbore and father of one of her daughters. She was probably not aware or concerned at the time of their marriage, decades ago, and since then, has had a positive and fruitful professional collaboration with him.
          Equally, Yuja as a remarkable, rapidly ascending star, wouldn’t be a typical Dutoit victim candidate; her career was assured anyway, with or without his influence. Dutoit seems to have preyed mostly on promising youngsters, singers or instrumentalists, whose careers he could make or break.

  • One cannot simply enter a quid pro quo with the expectation that their career would benefit, then suddenly spin a consensual relationship into sexual harassment/assault when in their own estimation the favor was not adequately returned. That would indeed make one a hypocrite. Not all accusers fall into this category, but there are a few that certainly seem to.

      • Not necessarily. “Opportunist” may be a more accurate description or title. Prostitution implies that a price was agreed upon ahead of time. I doubt if a high percentage of such bedside deals were so ‘cut and dry’.

    • “Not all accusers fall into this category, but there are a few that certainly seem to.”

      And it’s important to keep calling attention to those, in order to pre-emptively undermine the credibility of the rest (apparently)…

  • Her full comments on the topic (courtesy of Google Translate):

    As a woman and as an interpreter, do you have an opinion formed about the recent events with James Levine, Charles Dutoit and many others?

    If I tell the truth … no, I do not have an opinion. I do not want to avoid the answer, I have the feeling that any answer may sound demagogic. What surprises me most in all this is that behind the whole issue of sexual abuse there is a backdrop, with abuses of power. They are not separate things. And it is terrible to think that these abuses have come to light when the power of some of these musicians was already lower than they had a few decades ago. There is so much hypocrisy in all this … In my own experience, I have worked several times with Charles Dutoit and we always had a good musical connection, without any problem.

    • This translation completely changes the meaning inferred by the quote minus its context. She’s saying that she never had a problem with him, but that she finds it hypocritical that these abuses come out when people are no longer at the height of their power and cannot be punished more than losing their legacy. I think she’s arguing for calling out all those at the top right now who are still doing this. I call on the blog author to add in the additional context provided by this translation.

      • But this is extraordinary! You mean to say that the full context of a comment used in isolation by the venerable Mr Lebrecht actually shows the opposite of what his clickbait headline suggests? Are you accusing him of willingly stirring up controversy? The mind absolutely boggles. I am shocked to the very core…

      • Ben – “…she finds it hypocritical that these abuses come out when people are no longer at the height of their power and cannot be punished more than losing their legacy. I think she’s arguing for calling out all those at the top right now who are still doing this.”

        That makes sense. What also makes sense to me is that people would be too afraid to say anything while the perpetrator is still powerful enough to damage them.

        • I thought what she was saying was she finds it is about abuse of power (sexual assault) and interesting that now the victims calling out the men, who are past their prime and weak, are the ones with the power visa a vis the men

          • It’s hard to tell whether her original statement was ambiguous to begin with or whether it’s lost in translation, but nevertheless it comes out brilliantly diplomatic.

            Did she mean:
            “It is terrible to think that these abuses can only come to light when some of these musicians no longer hold much power, and they are such hypocrites for hiding it that long”?

            Or did she mean:
            “It is terrible to think that these abuses come to light only when some of these musicians no longer hold much power, and the accusers are such hypocrites for turning the tables”?

            You can take either side. She doesn’t want to be a demagogue and has no opinion after all, merely pointing you toward the issue of power, not sex.

      • I don’t think “hypocrasía” refers to not being punishable any more, but that they have been people of false pretenses, whoever she is referring to.

  • Just because Dutoit didn’t go up her miniskirt doesn’t mean other women did not suffer the indignity, or possibly worse. What is hypocritical is to ignore or deny this.

    • You are quite right, and there are some women who take this sort of attitude but that is not what Wang said in this piece. Ben is essentially correct above. Don’t forget that we are dealing with three languages here — with Wang and the journalist presumably both speaking in their second, or using an interpreter, who is followed by a translator to commit it all to good literate Spanish.

      Whether she is right — that the men at the top of their game are not the ones under attack — is another subject, not without merit for consideration.

    • Mind you, Wang is certainly dressing like somebody who is inviting attention – rather more Kardashian than class, I’d day.

  • I don’t mean to defend anyone but I’m starting to get the feeling that we are now living in a modern day version of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.”

  • Yuja Wang is a great pianist. She has the right to dress the way she wishes and she is showing in her answer a lot of balance. Yes there is a lot of Hypocrisy in coming back now with stories coming back to 1968 when your “agressor” is now an old criple. The law does exist . Why all these “victims” did not react on time in order to allow prosecution?

    • I first saw Yuja Wang play in 2006. Twelve years on I am due to hear her play on May 15 in Montreal, the city very much associated with Charles Dutoit. It is a recital, no conductor involved. She dresses, as she says “because I am a girl and I am 26 years old” but she can also play the piano, that is why I am going to Montreal on the 15th.

      • I absolutely marvel at her pyrotechnical skill but I’m finding her playing less and less satisfying as time goes on. Too much repertoire, too little practice and a rather anodyne quality to much of it. Sadly.

        • That’s an entirely different issue, isn’t it. That brings up the whole procedure as to how classical music is now marketed. These people are booked years in advance. So now you have this bizarre overlap of “me too”-ism and the ‘sexy’ marketing of classical pianists and violinists. It sort of fits into the bizarre political times were living in. Maybe we’ll someday see Stormy Daniels as a classical music spokesperson.

  • Now, exactly what did her “connection” with Dutoit is or was, we’ll never know.

    She would not be the forst nor the last classical musician to have “no problems with connecting” in order to advance their careers…its almost part of the profession.

    That’s the other side of the “Metoo” movement, one not oft acknowledged.

    In any case, even if he in fact did not do anything to her, it does not put into question what he did do to countless others….

    • Alvaro has illustrated the logical next step for the MeToo movement: accusing all women who have actually made it of exchanging sexual favors for career advancement, and implying they took away opportunities from those “more deserving” by having sex with the right people.

      What a great success MeToo movement is. Nowadays the word of any self-claimed victim will be believed and taken at face value. But when someone says “I did not have such problems” her word cannot be trusted: actually she probably slept with Dutoit to further her career, “we’ll never know!” Someone says she was raped by Dutoit – yep, definitely true. Yuja Wang says she did not have a problem with Dutoit – she must be lying or at least consealing something. Am I right, Alvaro?

  • My fly on the wall informed me that the reason that Dutoit left Wang untouched, was that the pianist pre-emtived the fun of undressing.

  • There is so much hypocrisy in all this …

    Exactlly. Montreal Symphony Orchestra, mayor of Motreal, Boston Symphony Orchestra are all hypocrisy!
    However many claims against there are, none of them are no basis.

    Bring back our Dutoit!

  • The news paper reports about him are true. You don’t know if you were not there.
    You have no basis on your comment.

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