Is this the end of the #Metoo musical line?

Is this the end of the #Metoo musical line?


norman lebrecht

December 03, 2018

Daniele Gatti, ousted at the Concertgebouw for alleged concupiscence with members of staff, has been installed as music director at Rome Opera.

Charles Dutoit, sacked everywhere after accusations of actual rape (which he denied), now has a position in Russia and plenty of guest work in Japan.

Siegfried Mauser, convicted in a Munich court of sexual assaults at the Academy of Music, is being defended by his pal Nike Wagner as ‘a victim of university intrigue’.

So is that it? Has the whole campaign to defend victims of sexual assault come to no more than a rap on the knuckles in a world whose attention span is shorter than a Trump tweet?

Will the classical music world go back to its bad old ways? Has it done so already?

The only answer we have at the moment is: not quite. Some precautions have been put in place. Predators will have to be more careful. But the storm has blown out. The show has moved on.


  • Jack says:

    Talented people will always find work. The accomplishment of the #metoo movement has been to expose these people when they cross the line. That won’t stop and will probably increase as victims become more empowered.

    The real question for me will be how many strikes it will take for some of these people to have their careers harmed in any major way.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Er…their careers has been harmed “in a major way”. These careers just haven’t been completely terminated.

  • Pedro says:

    Good news from Rome.

  • Bill Gross says:

    “concupiscence” is a word I was unfamiliar with. Dictionaries I consulted defined it as a “desire” not an actual act.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Dr Johnson refers to the act of importuning women

      • Luigi Nonono says:

        You are so clearly heterosexist in your outlook on everything.

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          That’s right; we need more labels. More reputational destruction, more career damage for people who don’t follow the party line. “Patriarchal apologists”. LOL.
          Ideological and low resolution thinking, as usual, from the Left.

    • Rgiarola says:

      Bill, It is a word derivated from the latin “concupiscens”. In every modern latin langague there are a similar word such “concupiscenza” in Italian. Perhaps Mr. NL intended an irony using the latin regardless the most well know saxon form, the lust, since he has talking about Rome opera. Soft touch. I like it lol

  • Emil says:

    No. Silly headline.
    Isolated cases do not make a trend.

  • Rgiarola says:

    They were all punished for the things they were accused, at least in a way that a punishment can happens outside a court. (Since no side decided for judicialization).

    Are you proposing more punishment, such the whole career ban? Even a court must hand down a sentence with maximum length. What would be the edges? No rehabilitation? Sounds like lynch, not justice.

    • Emil says:

      Whatever the appropriate punishment should be (and I don’t have an answer to that), I am 100% certain it should be more than a few months of part-time sabbatical and then a new batch of honours as if nothing happened.

  • Italy remains behind in its gender culture — a long-standing problem. Progress will be slow and women there will continue to suffer more harassment and discrimination than in most other European countries for a longtime to come.

    In the article below, Nike Wagner says the court sentences against Mauser are a “witch hunt.” She adds that the MeToo movement is “scheinheiligen neuen Puritanismus amerikanischer Provenienz.” (“hypocritcal new Puritanism of American provenence.)

    It’s worth noting that the orchestra at Bayreuth has the lowest ratio of women in the world — about 5%. The ratio in the winds and percussion is 66 to 2.

    Bernd Redmann, the Dean of the Munich University of Muisc, rejected Wagner’s statement and noted that the courts found Mauser guilty of sexual assault. He added that gifted artists should not be given special rights:

    “Der Mythos vom künstlerischen Genie, dem alles erlaubt ist, die Tradition des Opfers, das selbst an allem die Schuld trägt, oder ein Verharmlosen von Vorfällen sind falsch und aus der Zeit gefallen.“
    (“The myth of the artistic genius for whom everything is allowed, the tradition of the victim who blames himself for everything, and a trivialization of incidents, are wrong and anachronistic.”)

    I can tell you from personal experience, Redmann’s view is a huge leap forward for Munich compared to the 1980s and 90s. Sergiu Celibidache was GMD of the Munich Phil during that period. The groveling worship afforded him in spite of his vulgarity and abuse was astounding to witness. My respect to Munich for the progress it has made.

    • Caravaggio says:

      This should be required reading by all but especially by a number of patriarchy apologists here on SD.

    • Luigi Nonono says:

      Celibidache was an incomparable conductor and well worth putting up with.

      • Emil says:

        If you’re willing to cause harm to others for your own enjoyment, your moral compass is way, way, off.
        I mean, Bentham and Mill dealt directly with this argument in their work on utilitarianism. Their example, though, was slavery.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    Good for them! Good for the defeat of gossip and slander! Good for the end to the witch hunt!
    Where is an over-committed musician expected to find partners? Dating random strangers or people they work with? Get real. Everyone is free to resist advances.

  • buxtehude says:

    Art is long but life is short — that’s the unavoidable conclusion after listening to his German Requiem.

    • buxtehude says:

      This was supposed to have been a reply to this:

      Luigi Nonono
      December 3, 2018

      Celibidache was an incomparable conductor and well worth putting up with

  • The two cases cited above sound like the age-old practice of leaving the country and starting over in some place where they can’t read the police reports in the original language.

    I suspect none of these resulted in pay increases or they would have been pursuing positions like these earlier.

    And I presume getting defended by Nike Wagner is not a paying position at all.

    • Robert Groen says:

      What police reports? What court sentences? What convictions?! Gatti was booted out by the RCO without even a semblance of due process. All you need nowadays is a few women with a grudge getting together and saying “we’re going to get this bastard” and you can kiss your career goodbye. I admire the musicians who, sometimes after an extended period in Inferno, crawl up from the depths in which they were cast by the misandrist zealots and manage to resume their lives. Levine, Dutoit, Gatti, Pletnev and many, many more, don’t accept this! Fight in the courts. Force your accusers to prove their case. OK, if they do, take your punishment. But don’t be led like lambs to the slaughter!

  • Mark says:

    I certainly hope so. To hell with this neo-Puritan sexual counter-revolution and its feminist harpies ! And don’t give me any crap about the “pressures” women face – for every female who feels used, there are five who sleep their way to the top (and so do certain men under the right circumstances).

    If anyone is actually raped or assaulted – go to the authorities. That’s what the criminal justice system is for. But please don’t assume that if you choose to sleep with your teacher/boss/conductor/director/producer/plumber, you get a badge of automatic blessed victimhood.

    Grow up, ninnies !

  • MacroV says:

    They all paid a price for their miseeds. Do they have to be sent to St. Helena? Hopefully they’ll all be on better behavior from now on.

    • Emil says:

      In what way? Gatti replaces one high-profile conducting job with another, Dutoit lost one year at the RPO and replaced it with guest conducting gigs in a part of the world where he is hugely popular. What price did they pay,exactly?
      Meanwhile, Dutoit broke musicians’ careers in Montreal, and sexual assault can cause long lasting trauma for the rest of victims’ lives. I’ll also note that none of them has recognized the harm they caused to others, let alone apologized for it (not even a fake ‘sorry if you were offended’ apology).
      I don’t know if they should be barred from the profession forever – it’s a complex question to which I don’t have an answer. But I know for sure that, whatever the “price” they pay should be, it ought definitely to be more than a few months of part-time work.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Well, I think it unlikely that Dutoit will ever be able to show his face again on the podium with a major western orchestra. And Gatti has been forced to go to a much lesser orchestra. Whether he will be invited to conduct major orchestras in Britain and the US in the future remains an open question.

  • ViolaMagic says:

    Sad commentary.

  • Spenser says:

    “….a world whose attention span is shorter than a Trump tweet”.
    – Good one, Norman….

  • Ben says:

    Why #MeToo hurts women:

    The real problem is the over-political correctness that allows any person to be punished and/or crucified without due process.

    It got so outlandish that, if an ‘accused’ person isn’t punished *immediately*, the public would turn on the organization as well.

    • Emil says:

      No, men who find it easier to cut off contact with 50% of the population rather than behave appropriately hurt women.

  • Ben says:

    Here’s an non-sense story:

    An year ago, I was vacationing in Okinawa. We booked an dive trip which includes free dive photos as explained by the young office girl there. However, the photos were never received. Since we had a great time, I plan to book a different dive tour with the same shop.

    I returned to that dive shop two days later, asked the same young office girl about why our photos were not received, and also the availability of a different tour.

    With very poor English, she shown me a picture of her hugging her boyfriend and point to him. I shown her the Google translation of my request to get the photos. She then hesitated, then just asked me to wait.

    Not truly happy about this, I told her to forget about my 2nd dive booking, and just give me the photos ASAP so I could stop wasting my precious vacation time.

    She then said like, in broken English, why she was punished.

    Nuff said.

  • Arnold I. Reeves says:

    Could it conceivably be that lots of ordinary non-virtue-signallers and non-snowflakes are sick to the back teeth of media lynch-mobs trying to take the place of properly constituted law courts?

    Could it conceivably be that lots of ordinary non-virtue-signallers and non-snowflakes remembered the damnable hypocrisy of Asia Argento, who screamed “#MeToo #MeToo #MeToo” after industriously porking an underage boy?

    Could it conceivably be that lots of ordinary non-virtue-signallers and non-snowflakes believe in, you know, the concept of defendants being “innocent until PROVEN guilty” and other such “dead white male patriarchal” stuff?

    Could it conceivably be that lots of ordinary non-virtue-signallers and non-snowflakes remember (with disgust) earlier manifestations of hysterical pearl-clutching, such as “repressed memories” of non-existent sexual assaults? How about the whole “Satanic ritual abuse” brouhaha which sent innocent people to jail during the 1980s?

    Ye gods, I want to vomit when, after decades of pinchbeck Puritan feminazis yelping about grrrrl power, said feminazis turn around and start snivelling like clueless virgins in the worst Victorian melodrama. Half the time their own very public “private” lives echo Blair Tindall’s.

    It’s interesting that even the ultra-leftist WASHINGTON POST has just published an article, by columnist Kathleen Parker, which points out how the whole #MeToo moral panic has reduced rather than improved women’s job prospects.

    Congratulations, sistas. As usual, the sistahood doesn’t primarily hate sleazy predatory men; it primarily hates sane women.