Charles Dutoit has new job at Russian orchestra

Charles Dutoit has new job at Russian orchestra


norman lebrecht

September 11, 2018

The #Metoo Swiss conductor, shunned by much of the music world, has been named principal guest conductor of the St Petersburg Philharmonic, starting immediately.

On Sunday he conducted his ex-wife Martha Argerich at the Septembre Musical in Montreux, Switzerland.



  • boringfileclerk says:

    At least he’s finally found an orchestra that will tolerate, if not encourage sexual harassment.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    This post is deliberately written in such an offensive way. Nothing was ever proven against him, he was one of the earliest witch-hunt victims; at least one orchestra has the guts to employ him. Stop the madness, starting here.

    • Believe victims says:

      I personally know a woman who was assaulted by him. Her’s is not my story to tell, but Dutoit is not the victim of a witch hunt. He’s a serial predator.

    • Jaime Herrera says:

      Absolutely right Luigi. Artists are quite prone to emotional, demonstrative outbursts and that easily carries over to overt sexual flirting – not to be confused with actual (violent) sexual assault or rape. I have known dozens of conductors among whom are many who hug and kiss every female artist square on the lips even on stage. The #metoo deal is grossly exaggerated – for the sake of free publicity. Good for Dutoit. Good for St Petersburg.

      • anon says:

        Absolutely right Herrera. If a male septuagenarian conductor hugged and kissed you square on your lips — not to be confused with actual (violent) sexual assault or rape of you! — you’d welcome it? How about a little tonguing while that old geezer is kissing you square on your lips? Maybe a little herpes won’t be too bad either while he’s kissing you. Yum yum.

      • Quodlibet says:

        All artists are like that? Really? Citation needed, otherwise you are engaging in gross stereotyping.

        “I have known dozens of conductors among whom are many who hug and kiss every female artist square on the lips even on stage.” — And does that make it legitimate?

        FFS especially “on stage” a performer would be absolutely hostage to the public situation, audience present – what’s she supposed to do, haul off and it him?

        Honestly, you apologists are not just part of the problem, you ARE the problem. You give these clods a pass.

        Do you kiss every female musician square on the lips, even on stage? If so, what is wrong with you?? If not, why not? Might it be because you, even you, know that it is wrong?

        And no, women DO NOT LIKE THIS. Women have been conditioned over centuries to put up with this, but that does not mean that we like it.

        FFS what a bunch of … well, I won’t use a rude word. Ick.

        • Anon! A Moose! says:

          “— And does that make it legitimate?”

          Your post is spot on. I feel bad for the women who have to put up with some guy slobbering all over them and taking advantage of the fact that they are in front of an audience to hug them a little too tightly. It’s just gross. Knowing that conductors have some sway in what soloists get hired ensures that they have to go along to get along.

          • Saxon Broken says:

            Personally, if the female soloist reacted by “kneeing the bastard in the balls” I would laugh and clap. That would definitely be worth an encore.

        • Alan says:

          I’m in complete agreement with you, Quodlibet.

        • Peter says:

          Well said, Quodlibet. I note, with zero surprise whatsoever, that all the usual hackneyed defences are already present in the comments on this post, including “it hasn’t been proven in the courts” (answer: that doesn’t prevent ordinary citizens from making considered personal judgments for ourselves), “this behaviour happens all the time” (answer: well, exactly – and the point is that it is unwanted), and “it’s a witch-hunt” (answer: that’s a mere slogan, and a tellingly defensive one at that).

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Luigi, my best guess is that you wouldn’t believe any of the charges against Charles Dutoit could have basis in fact until and unless his tongue found its way down your throat.

    • Pete says:

      I think your attitude is mistaken,

      About several dozen people claimed he sexually assaulted them (doing things like grabbing and shoving his tounge down their throats).

      In light of that, One can conclude that the likely hood of him being a sexual predator is like 99%.

      It may not be legally proven, but its practically enough that many private institutions felt the need to bar him from conducting their orchestras. Of course he shouldn’t be criminally prosecuted if its not proven in a court of law.

      Either you haven’t followed the story closely enough (the similar stories of his victims, the organizations behaving like they knew what he was doing, rumors in the classical music world ect.) , or you have some kind of personal psychological baggage that wants to apologize for a predator.

      To use an extreme example, Just because Stalins crimes wasen’t criminally proven doesn’t mean that he was innocent.

      • Peter (not to be confused with Pete) says:

        “Either you haven’t followed the story closely enough (the similar stories of his victims, the organizations behaving like they knew what he was doing, rumors in the classical music world ect.) , or you have some kind of personal psychological baggage that wants to apologize for a predator.”

        It is the latter.

        Luigi’s frequent responses to posts on this blog relating to sexual misconduct make clear that he’s not interested in the details or how credible the allegations are. His opposition to holding people to account for sexual misconduct is automatic. It is based upon a deep-seated, personal resentment toward women.

        See this previous comment he made on a post re Dutoit, where he said: “Women, in my personal experience, are extremely quick to use, and adept at using blacklisting, backstabbing for petty revenge on someone they dislike. I have had no less than three women blacklist me and ruin my career.”

        I think that says it all.

  • anon says:

    This is the same St Petersburg Philharmonic whose principal conductor Yuri Temirkanov said “I don’t like woman conductors”?

    Geese of a feather flock together.

    These two geezers deserve each other.

  • James says:

    There were multiple credible allegations against this man of extremely serious sexual harassment, including an attempted rape. It is abominable that he has been feted with another position.

    • Sue says:

      He’s in Russia. Surely that’s the musical equivalent of mining salt in Siberia!! He has Putin and the weather to contend with. Be content with that, sans police intervention. Or do you want the stocks and flaying with a cat’o nine tails too?

      Seriously, lefties are so authoritarian and disagreeable. People on the right are more tolerant and likely to want cases like this proven in courts.

  • Jack says:

    I’ll ignore all the typical snark here and with Dutoit well in his new assignment.

  • MacroV says:

    I believe all the allegations against Dutoit. Nonetheless I do think there should be some kind of path toward redemption, assuming he’d come clean and make attempts to atone. Though I’m not sure Russia should be on that path.

    • Emil says:

      Sure…but that begins with acknowledging the harm he’s done. Dutoit has put his head in the sand, denied everything, and blamed more or less a malicious conspiracy to slander him. If someone deserves redemption, it’s not him, at least not at this stage.

  • Nikolai says:

    About 30 years ago I was with a friend at a concert at the Hollywood Bowl with Mr. Dutoit conducting the Montreal Symphony. My friend encouraged us to try and go back stage after the concert and meet Mr. Dutoit, which we did. To this day I am still a bit creeped out by his overt come-on. We were two rather naive 20 somethings who thought it would be nice to meet a famous conductor. What we found was a really creepy guy who was way too friendly. Say whatever you want, but from my personal experience Mr. Dutoit was clearly looking for more than just a casual conversation about music. If my experience was any indication, the rumors of his sexual harassment are all true.

  • Thomasina says:

    Yuri Temirkanov was also with RPO (and Gatti between him and Dutoit). I see that a powerful man can stand up with the help of another powerful man even if he fell down…

  • Bruce says:

    Well, they know what they’re getting, in terms of reputation and baggage, and it clearly doesn’t bother them.

    I suppose (hope) that he’s too old to be much of a problem anymore, and/ or has least learned to control himself. If not, I hope the St. Petersburg PO takes any new complaints seriously.

  • muslit says:

    aside from everything else, the maestro is over-rated as a conductor.

  • Mark says:

    Good for him, I say. I have no idea what Dutoit did or didn’t do, but he hasn’t been indicted or convicted in any court of law, and that’s good enough for me. And to hell with the #MeToo femnazis !

    • Quodlibet says:

      Suppose you own a business. Or you are the CEO or board chair for … oh, let’s say a performing arts organization. You are responsible. One of your employees — head of fundraising? acts like a jerk. Let’s say … he or she drinks too much on the job. This employee is not doing anything illegal or indictable, but is making people unhappy and making your organization look bad. Donors are complaining. One wealthy donor called you to express concern over this boor’s behavior at a recent fund-raiser, where the employee was loud and offensive and knocked the donor’s dinner plate onto the floor. Your response: “I have no idea what the employee did or didn’t do, but he/she hasn’t been indicted or convicted in any court of law, and that’s good enough for me. And to hell with you!”


      Just because a certain behaviour is not indictable or criminal (though in many of these cases, it IS) does not make it acceptable. It is not acceptable behavior. IT. IS. NOT.

      If the boorish behaviour involves sex, and in particular if the boorish behavior is demonstrated by a man (especially a man in a position of power) and the person affected by it is a woman, why is it OK? I am asking seriously. What, in your mind, is the difference between the conductor behaving boorishly in a physical way, which you think is OK, and the scenario I posited above, which I hope you would find not OK?

      Why do you and others like you give these boors a pass?