Boston Symphony organist is named ‘an imminent danger to students’

Boston Symphony organist is named ‘an imminent danger to students’


norman lebrecht

August 24, 2018

The distinguished organist and teacher James David Christie has relinquished his duties at Oberlin College, Ohio, and the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester amid a flurry of historic #MeToo allegations.

Christie, 66, is a regular organ soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Former Worcester graduates wrote to the college president, alleging that he ‘is an imminent danger to students on your campus.’

Christie promptly withdrew from his teaching engagements.




  • pHF655 says:

    The Boston Symphony does not list an organist on its permanent roster, as does, for example, the New York Philharmonic. The BSO’s archive states that he last appeared with the orchestra in the 2007-08 season, when he performed the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, with, curiously, Charles Dutoit conducting. A total of 42 appearances are listed, going back to 1980.

  • Tom Moore says:

    improper behavior with students has been going on for centuries:

    “Not much is known of the life of the Flemish-born Nicolas Gombert (c1495- c1560), except that his career at the court of Emperor Charles V was interrupted by a period of exile as a galley slave for raping one of his choirboys. ”

    • Scott the organist says:

      Yeah, leprosy has been around for donkeys years as well. But now we have the opportunity to eradicate both leprosy and sexual abuse in music education. I admire the victims for speaking up.

    • Ted says:

      Wow, I did not know that about Gombert. Especially sad because he composed one of my very favorite pieces in all of music: his “Tulerunt Dominum Meum”. Can I post a link on this site? Here it is, if it doesn’t post, I’ll post a URL string without the link-activity.

  • V.Lind says:

    Accusation…prompt withdrawal from duties, no denial or other statement…

    This movement should be called “Him, too.” I am disgusted at the number of men who cannot control themselves, or differentiate between their desires and their responsibilities as a civilised human being.

    Yes, this “movement” will probably net some innocents with false allegations. But anyone who doesn’t think that the vast majority of the accusations are true is delusional.

  • luigi nonono says:

    What you should be disgusted by is the “removal” of people without proof, over “allegations”, without due process. This is shockingly unethical behavior on the part of “victims.” But their feelings apparently matter more than the structure of society and maintaining a system of justice. Indeed, it is a vaunted tradition in music. Why? Perhaps because music requires so much dedication there is no chance for outside relationships, and who can understand a musician better than another one; but also, sex and music itself, love, are hopelessly intertwined. You cannot really understand rhythm and climax without experience sex.

    • Me! says:

      Luigi, you sound like an elementary/primary school music teacher! Exactly what you’d tell the students! Forget that brilliant musicians, Mozart etc etc were great at an early age. And musicians no more dedicated and time given then doctors lawyers bodega workers, truckers…of course you could just be joking

    • barry guerrero says:

      Luigi, while there may be something in what you say, exploiting young people is not teaching them to be better musicians. They will find sex all on their own – just like most everybody else.

      If Luigi Nono worte a chamber work for 9 musicians, based on themes from the musical “No, no Nanette”, it would be the Nono “No, no Nanette” nonet.

    • Cyril Blair says:

      It’s not the victims who are removing their assailants. (Obviously.) Therefore I’m not sure what you are claiming is “shockingly unethical behavior” by the victims. Making accusations is shockingly unethical? Why on earth? It’s only unethical if the accusations are false. (Again, this is obvious.)

    • Bill C says:

      Luigi, I think his resignation from Oberlin spoke for itself. A clear admission of guilt.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Er…not necessarily. Perhaps he felt ashamed about what he thought other people were thinking and saying about him even though he knows it to be false.

    • Anita says:

      you just cannot be serious.