Boston disowns arrested artistic director

Boston disowns arrested artistic director


norman lebrecht

September 27, 2018

Message from Elisabeth Christensen, Managing Director, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra:

We suspended Mr. St. George as soon as we were made aware of his alleged conduct yesterday evening.

Following a thorough review of the indictment and Mr. St. George’s alleged activities we have terminated his employment, effective immediately.

We know of no connection between Mr. St. George’s behavior and our organization. In addition, we are not aware of any actions that directly involve or impact any of our musicians or staff.


  • Chris says:

    Whatever happened to ‘innocent till found guilty’ ?

    • John Borstlap says:

      In an art form where everything, really everything, hangs on reputation, any image blot has consequences, quite distinct from reality.

    • anon says:

      “Innocent until proven guilty” is a criminal law standard to be applied to a criminal court.

      You don’t live your life as though you were living in a criminal court do you? Do you have a judge presiding over your dinner table every night? Do you have a jury of 12 of your peers sitting in your living room every night rendering a verdict on your hamburger?

      “Hey neighbor, I heard you were a child molester, but since you charge so little, and since you’re innocent until proven guilty, why don’t you babysit my boy tonight.”

      “Hey teach, my daughter said you slapped her, but since you’re innocent until proven guilty, why don’t you come over and tutor her sometime.”

      C’mon. What ever happened to “common sense”?

      • Mark says:

        “Innocent until proven guilty” is a foundational societal principle in the English-speaking word, not just a legal concept. Indictments do not prove anything – thousands of people are acquitted every year.

        They themselves claim that his alleged behavior had no connection to his work – so why fire him ?

        • Saxon Broken says:

          Um…for the Boston Philharmonic, I think I agree. But firing him from the Youth orchestra does not seem premature. He has admitted guilt, and he has been found guilty before for something similar (without letting the organisation know).

    • James says:

      If you read any of the articles about this story, you would know that he has already admitted to the act.

    • Bruce says:

      It’s a tricky balance: “innocent until proven guilty” can easily tip toward “accusers are lying unless they can produce incontrovertible proof,” just as “believe accusers” can easily tip toward “all accused are guilty unless they can produce incontrovertible truth.”

      And people who try to maintain that in-between balance, saying for example that accusers should be given a chance to make their cases, are accused of presuming guilt, and those who ask why nothing was said years ago are accused of calling the accuser a liar. I think there are insincere people on both sides, calling for “fairness” not for the sake of fairness but in order to defeat the other side; but I don’t think everyone on a particular side is faking it.

      Reasonable people don’t make as much noise, though, so that gets lost.

  • Bruce says:

    ^ oops, I meant to say “incontrovertible proof” again at the end of the first paragraph.

  • Richard says:

    It’s not an issue of guilt. He admitted to it. They found an extensive trove. There’s no ambiguity.

    The orchestra is just doing what they need to do and what’s prudent.