Levine’s legacy poisons America’s classical conversations

Levine’s legacy poisons America’s classical conversations


norman lebrecht

March 24, 2021

We attach two screengrabs to show how divided American musicians remain about dealing with the aftermath of James Levine – their country’s most accomplished conductor who was also a lifelong sexual abuser.

Under attack here are the violinists Charles Castleman and Benjamin Bowman, but it could be you, or me, or anyone who speaks out of line.

The wells are well and truly poisoned.

See also: Composer apologises for comments on Levine

Here’s the text of Lara St John’s exchanges:

Hi again friends! So yucksy this keeps having to be about this crap (see? I never swear in writing), but here is my little note to the concertmaster of the Met, a countryman of mine, so hopefully he can understand where we’re coming from!!
Hi Ben. I know we don’t know each other very well, but I do understand your wanting to pay tribute to a person who doubtless helped you a lot and from whom you learned a great deal. Just so you understand the comments which have “saddened” you, somehow we all knew about his “proclivities” (NYTimes) far and wide, from Nanaimo to Miami, St. Johns to L.A. from the time you were a little boy, and for you to have never heard anything at all about this until 2018 is, well, just amazing! Incredible, one might say. Nevertheless, it must have dawned on you in 2018 that it likely was not just “improprieties” (NYTimes). Our opinion is that a person who ruined many lives for his sadistic pleasure and was saved time and time again from incarceration and certain death by the institutions that made money off him and one who eventually paid him to leave, is probably best not remembered for the nice things he did for you, and recordings he made. That’s all! I think I speak for all of us in trying to explain the remarks above. All my best, Lara
EDIT His post:
RIP, maestro Levine. What a tremendous loss for music! I will be forever grateful to have had the chance to work together.
EDIT his wife has asked me to put up his comment for context so here you go:
Elizabeth Bowman
Hi Lara, could you include Ben’s text in your response to him? Just so that your followers can see what you are responding to? It’s important for context.
“I am really saddened by some of the comments I’ve read here. The intention of my original post was to simply express my sense of loss for an artist’s talents that I have respected a lot in my lifetime.
Long before I knew anything about Levine’s personal life, I studied and admired his work. I grew up on his recordings, I fell in love with opera because of his work at the Met. I dreamed of one day being in that incredible orchestra. And then after many years, I managed to play a successful audition to him and get the very job of my dreams…this was a gift like no other.
When I finally worked with him, he spoke respectfully to me and gave me encouragement as I embarked on my journey with the Met. He talked with me about Mozart and Verdi and opera in general, discussions (lessons) I will never forget. I felt lucky, grateful. This was fall 2017, several months before the Levine story blew up publicly.
My experience with Levine is unique to me, and it forms an important part of my musical journey. Unfortunately this renders the processing of his passing more complicated for me than it might be for others.
I believe it is my right to express — on the occasion of learning of his death — that I respected his artistic gifts, and that I have benefited from them. This does not in any way mean that I support the horrible things he did to people over the years. Quite the contrary— I absolutely believe in fair and equal treatment for everyone.
In this vein, anyone reading this who is a victim of sexual abuse or abuse of power – or both – know that I support you. It must be impossibly difficult to cope with.
I’m encouraged that we have already made progress moving forward and away from Levinian behavior, and we can work together to continue to improve conditions so that that type of behavior won’t be tolerated anymore at any level.
Peace, love, and respect to all.”


  • larry says:

    Sorry but I’m a low tech guy. Are we supposed to be able to read these? If yes, how?

  • Karl says:

    A lifelong sexual abuser? Stop the hysteria. We are getting to the point where we can say that about anyone if we want. We can say the US is a country founded on genocide and slavery and it must be destroyed. So aren’t all American conductors tainted by the country’s original evil? See how easy that is?

    • Amos says:

      No, everyone is not a sexual abuser simply by virtue of living in a country where it occurs. Similarly, not all Americans are tainted by slavery only those alive today who refuse to acknowledge that history, admit that the impact is still present and most importantly refuse to work to ensure racism doesn’t pervade our society. Today in America we have an element of society that attempts to promulgate the notion that slavery wasn’t so bad because the enslaved had a place to sleep and were fed and march under the flag of the Confederacy!
      As for the premise of the blog post unfortunately today in America we are a 50/50 country on virtually every issue and it inevitably leads to a corrosive discourse.

      • Hayne says:

        I mean really, this must have been written by an adolescent.

        • Amos says:

          Only a disinformation-loving fascist would say that. By the way, what happened to all those vaccine deaths? Just another day of bullshit from the master.

    • Tim says:

      The multiple allegations going back decades, the allegations I heard sometimes first hand from NYC musicians, the multiple articles posted by a multitude of people who have nothing to gain professionally, the actual investigation and firing by the MET… all that doesn’t raise an eyebrow?

      Just because something isn’t formally “proven in court” doesn’t mean it wasn’t so. AND YOU KNOW IT.

      Sexual abuse is something hard to put through a court of law, since the crime is done in seclusion and doesn’t leave evidence. Thusly, James Levine suffered consequences in the domestic and not criminal sphere. This was different than a “phony me-too”.

      You probably would feel different if he slid his hand under your pants, of course, when “no one was there to see it”. He did this to grown men too you know, not just easily manipulatable children-teenagers.

      • FrankUSA says:

        This may have been the case from 1950 through the 1990’s. However by the time the Met made its investigation and fired Levine it lost most if not all of its shock value. The US had already gone through the President Bill Clinton sex scandal/impeachment and the details that were released were quite graphic. IMHO,when the Met did its investigation it should have asked/demanded that at least one of the accusers or all of them should have released their their name and the their account. I am sure that some here will defend the lack of release of names/details because the victims were so psychologically disturbed/scarred by the events. But the Met accusers were ready and comfortable to talk to the Met. I just find it unusual that not a single name has appeared or that Levine was never formally/publicly arrested for the “thousands” of times that he committed these heinous acts. Levine travelled quite a bit and some said that he committed his sexual in many different places. There was even a comment here that one country would not allow him in but that country was not mentioned. I will end this comment this way. I will guess/assume that Levine was guilty of sexual misconduct(some have even used the words assault and rape which are much greater crimes legally speaking). Btw,I did think I read that there was a police complaint somewhere along but it was never made public and could not be prosecuting because of changes in law). In summary,I guess I and all the rest of us have to guess and assume that Levine was guilty of sexual misconduct. As I said above,by the post-2000 years we had gotten to the point where names/accounts should have been made public so that all of us would not be left in this state of guessing/assuming.

        • Guest1 says:

          Good point. Surely Mr. Lebrecht can sleuth out which country allegedly banned him? Until then it is an unsubstantiated charge and possibly an urban legend.

        • FrankUSA says:

          Addendum. Levine sued the Met for charges of defamation and other reasons. The New York State Supreme Court ruled out most of the charges but allowed the charge of defamation of character to move forward. The Met and Levine settled out of court. So,once again,we were left to assume/guess. And this information about the judgement of the NYS Supreme Fact is actually a FACT.

        • Sharon says:

          There was a court approved confidentiality agreement

        • Sharon says:

          There was a court approved confidentiality agreement and the Met also promised confidentiality to its informants. That’s why there is no published report of their investigation although newspapers and Slipped Disc in 2017/2018 did publish the names of those who were willing to come forward publicly

      • Kenny says:

        Such bullshit.

    • fflambeau says:

      Karl. Yes, sorry but Levine was a lifelong sexual abuser. We need to talk about this and to explore how it could happen: namely, how can people like you seemingly denyand/or trivialize his actions? Levine hurt many young people. He also damaged musical reputations like Seiji Ozawa then at the BSO, so his own “genius” cult could take off (see conductor Kenneth Wood’s comments). We need also to talk about the people and institutions that sheltered him. It’s a big problem and affects lots of people. No, it’s not a pleasant thing to contemplate but it is necessary.

      • Marfisa says:

        Certainly it is a big problem, unpleasant to contemplate, and needs to be faced. But Kenneth Wood’s blog consists mainly of fictional anecdotes, unattributed gossip, and very hostile personal opinion, and should not be cited as a source of information about Levine.

        • Guest1 says:

          I agree. His (Woods) approving anecdote of Tower employees’ vandalism throwing not just displays but what must have been dozens of copies of then RCA’s property of boxed sets of Levine’s (henceforth to be known as He Who Must Not Be Named) Mahler 3rd in the dumpster is disgusting. Merely because they didn’t like his conducting but never actually heard the performance.

      • Maria says:

        You obviously had personal experience of his abuse by your emphatic statement. So why didn’t you report him? Isn’t that what Americans do? Go to court?

    • Guest1 says:

      Ah, if only Levine had gone into politics as a Democrat in good standing. Then, like Clinton and Cuomo, he would have been untouchable.

      • Karl says:

        What about Biden? His defense is that he hasn’t kept up with changing times and it was ok to molest women in the past.

  • Zhowe says:

    Ben Bowman has proved to the world that he is an insensitive assh***.

    MET, please make him do a formal apology and make him accountable. What he did was absolutely disgusting!

    • E Rand says:

      Zhowe- “make Bowman lick boots for daring to think and speak outside of approved party-speak”

      Says the ever too eager stasi wannabe.

  • Karlo says:


    Abusing children is an immoral act, criminal, disgusting, heinous and a punishable offence. Had James Levine gone to jail for his crimes, he probably would not have survived a day.

    Waving a baton and having a career in music playing other peoples art is a privilege.

    Defending a sex criminal and putting their artistry above their atrocities is both stupid, insane, short sighted and negates the worshippers humanity.

    Hitler and the Nazis looted art from German and other European Jews they murdered. Should we thank him for preserving culture?

    It sounds like Mr. Castleman and Mr. and Mrs. Bowman have lost their minds, humanity and general sense of decency.

    • Karl says:

      Levine committed no crimes. He was investigated and no evidence of criminal activity was found. He was exonerated.

      • Brian says:

        Talk about an inconvenient truth! You are ruining the narrative

      • Karlo says:

        Not being convicted is not the same as not committing a crime. There is an insurmountable amount of accusations and stories throughout the years from credible sources who he wronged. His death won’t give them much in the way of comfort, but how the industry choses to remember his terrible examples and behaviours will set the tone on how artists behave and what not to accept in this industry and craft.

      • MacroV says:

        Your second sentence is correct. The first is opinion, and not being indicted is NOT an exoneration.

      • The View from America says:


      • Zandonai says:

        Levine was indicted and convicted in the court of social media and woke cancel culture.

      • fflambeau says:

        Karl, you are flat wrong to say that “no criminal activity was found” relating to Levine. The Met conducted a thorough investigation and found it likely he did and even fired him. At least, get your facts straight.

        • Karl says:

          The police investigate criminal activity, not the MET. The police found that Levine had not broken any law.

          • Saxon says:

            No, that is not what the police found. What they actually decided is that they did not believe any prosecution would succeed and it wasn’t in the public interest to pursue the case. (Helped, no doubt, by a large dollop of cash to the injured party in return for their silence).

            But in any case, there is a lot of behaviour below criminal behaviour for which I would condemn someone to at least be banished from my company. And for which employers will sanction their employees.

    • IP says:

      “Waving a baton and having a career in music playing other peoples art is a privilege.”

      Well. . . not every day do people like you get a chance to have their say on. . . music

  • Marfisa says:

    I have tried to find out online what specific accusations were made against Levine. The clearest and most explicit were two NPR reports by Anastasia Tsioulcas, on March 2nd and May 19 2018 (links below). At that point a total of nine men had come forward with accounts of sexual abuse. There is nothing in these reports to support the accusations widely made in social media of pedophilia (sex with under-age pre-pubescent children) or rape. There is evidence of aberrant (and abhorrent to many people) sexual behavior involving young men over whom Levine was in a position of power and influence, and these things happened over a long period of time. That is bad enough.



    • Brian says:

      Damn you and your facts. I prefer to keep pretending the unsubstantiated gossip that I first heard and which was never shown to be based in truth.

    • Nijinsky says:

      Thanks for sharing those links. I think I had skimmed through them years back but didn’t look at them enough to take them in. That’s really disturbing now that I really look at them. How could someone, anyone, that has such a desire to coerce people into being his peons, his confederates, his following, and start doing such bizarre things end up in the position, or rather positions James Levine was in. Repeatedly.

      There has to be something wrong with the whole conducting world. I have to admit that I actually associated the kind of drive to wield and control a mob of people with something one expects from a conductor, and now have dramatically different ideas.

      I don’t even know what to say, it’s quite shocking. And it still is quite baffling, considering how many times he conducted Tosca, or other operas where the heroine has to go through comparable abuse. And he ends up on stage with her, taking bows. Gheorghiu said that “everyone” knew this. And then leaves it at that, as if such a statement speaks for itself. Why didn’t she say anything about it? Why would she have not said anything about it. Why wouldn’t it be her, or anyone else’s business to say anything about it? And how much on all sides was it self promotion in order to not rock the boat and cause trouble. And how much trouble is it to make a statement about it, also adding that Levine had a problem and instead of seeing him as a monster one might understand what it is to be human a bit better to look into what happened to him, because he really wasn’t making himself happy behaving in such a manner? How much trouble would it have been to do that, rather than just being “quiet” about it. It’s not even that I don’t understand why Gheorghiu wouldn’t jump into such a storm of societal machinery, but…. And apparently people were paid off quite a bit of money to keep quiet. Something not completely incomparable to the Catholic Church trying to keep its image and handing out who knows how much money. And when someone just can’t “behave” to not walk on egg shells amidst all of this people knowing and not saying anything, or one is supposed to be “tactful” and can’t because they’ve been through all of this, they are discarded, which I know personally. I don’t really care though, because I don’t see that as a loss. I’m really not dying to be part of all of that…..

      • Giustizia says:

        Harvey Weinstein’s abuses–with him we actually have names of those he abused–went on for decades while good liberals in Hollywood remained silent or even made jokes about it all.
        And this is the first time I have ever seen an orchestra referred to as “a mob of people.” It is insulting and calls for an apology.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    ENOUGH already about James Levine.
    He’s dead and gone.
    Whatever justice he may or may not deserve will not be meted out in this world.
    Move onto another subject.

    • Stuart says:

      so no discussing anyone who is dead and gone? That would be oddly limiting for this blog…

    • fflambeau says:

      You are wrong, Greg Bottini. Yes, Levine is dead but his legacy remains (just like Trump who is not dead but whose legacy is what it is). Jeffrey Epstein is also dead but the subject of huge criminal investigations about what he did and with whom.

      Not only did Levine hurt young people but he injured the reputation of at least one conductor: Seiji Ozawa. See Kenneth Woods’s comments on this on this site. So we need to look at why/how this could happen and who among our music critics and institutions enabled him.

      Yes, it is not a pleasant task but Levine forced this upon us.

      • Greg Bottini says:

        You don’t even have the stones to use your own name before you call out someone for being wrong!
        First of all, “fflambeau”, Levine did nothing at all to “injure the reputation” of Seiji Ozawa. Ozawa’s reputation in Boston (and elsewhere), whatever it may be, was determined YEARS before Levine got to the BSO. And Ozawa has been quite successful, if perhaps not artistically vital, since his time in Boston.
        Kenneth Woods’ comments are basically stories made up out of whole cloth by himself and others (see: the bullshit he wrote about The Great Tower Records Trashbin Dumping). If you put any validity to HIS fairy tales, then it is YOU, “fflambeau”, who is wrong.

    • Sharon says:

      As obsessed as I was with him, I agree with you

    • Sharon says:

      Although I was obsessed by Levine and his situation I agree with you

  • A.L. says:

    This recent exchange regarding James Levine comes from Anna Netrebko’s Instagram:

    Fan: “Auriez-vous laissé votre fils en compagnie de cet homme?”

    AN: “Votre stupidité dépasse les frontières, je vous souhaite de perdre toutes vos dents.”

    Her crudity knows no bottom.

    • Brian says:

      Good for Anna. There is no evidence whatsoever about James Levine and children (by which I mean pre-pubescent boys).

    • Nijinsky says:

      Yeah but she slid up at least half an octave and revealed her glottis vibrating before posting, I’m sure…

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Anna’s sentiment aside, it sounds like a gypsy curse worthy of Azucena. I wouldn’t screw around with her…

    • Jonathan Sutherland says:

      Well, la Netrebko was never going to be a candidate for the Académie Française.
      The only thing immortal about the Krasnodar crooner is her indefensible and inane political opinions, inherent vulgarity and shameless promotion of her boorish, mediocre mari.

    • Zandonai says:

      Are you sure it’s not from Mr. Netrebko?

    • Puzzled says:

      What is that in English. Thanks

      • Marfisa says:

        “Would you have left your son in the company of this man?”
        “Your stupidity is boundless, I wish on you the loss of all your teeth.”
        You’re welcome!

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      AN is spontaneous, honest, and not afraid of talking her mind. You get what you see and hear. 🙂

  • E Rand says:

    Bowman’s comments are perfectly fine and he has a right to distinguish between Levine’s immense artistic legacy and (alleged) sexual proclivities. Public fueds of this type used to be rare and Lara’s tone is condescending. Keats’ comments to Casteleman are, or at least verge on libel. But what are we to expect these days from the shaved-headed aggrieved who love their lives as hair-trigger outrages in search of a cause. How ugly we have all become.

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    Can anyone translate this into English ?

  • George says:

    The people who worked with James Levine and were supported by him have the same right to speak out and have their views respected, as do the victims. Many musicians owe a lot to Levine and Bowman was closer to and knew him better than 99% of those who comment.

    • musician says:

      yeah, Ben played with him for about 2 and a half months before Jimmy was fired. Oh the deep and meaningful impact he must have had. In no way was this a “Look at ME, I played with Levine and I can pretend to be sad in order to get some shallow attention on social media??” Oh Ben, my heart goes out to you and your loved ones during this deep time of mourning over your greatest musical mentor of a few weeks. And even though he was basically a vegetable for the past decade, completely physically handicapped and often mentally unaware that he was even involved in a rehearsal or performance, clearly your personal brilliance was able to cut through that, when no one else is the orchestra could, and gain so much in such a short time. Thank god you had those experiences, you must be a such a loss now.

      • Marfisa says:

        What personal experience did you have with Levine? I think you should make this clear.

        People suffering from Parkinson’s Disease could be deeply hurt by your ignorant comment. But perhaps you do not care?

        • musician says:

          not a lot of sympathy for the serial child molester, no. Also none for Hitler, also probably afflicted. I tend to weight my sympathy on a case by case basis though thanks for asking.

          • Marfisa says:

            Here is your ‘completely physically handicapped’ ‘vegetable’ conducting the Meistersinger Overture in ‘the past decade’ (2014).

            You avoided my first question – so you have no personal knowledge. But you prefer to perpetuate lying gossip like ‘child molester’ rather than finding out and coming to terms with what is reliably known about James Levine’s unacceptable behaviour.

          • musician says:

            honey, that clip is from 2001. I know because I’m in it.

          • Marfisa says:

            My mistake, and apologies. However, I think this one is really 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYCzL09iFM8
            Pretty good for a vegetable.

            Perhaps you do have personal knowledge of Levine serially molesting children, and if so, perhaps you could go public with it.

          • musician says:

            Clearly you’re not an orchestral musician but I will admit that clip is on the more animated end of his spectrum. Still a complete nightmare to work with but at least he’s on enough dope to be awake and upright (The Met would NEVER release how it usually looked). Most nights from 2004 on were full vegetable and even the security guards used to ask when they were going to get rid of him.

          • Hilary says:

            “ and his botched sexual conquests “ strangely apposite introduction to this YouTube clip!

            I must admit Levine does seem to generate a certain energy here despite his physical limitations. The rehearsal pianist is the star here. Unsung hero.

      • Kenny says:

        WTF do you know about it?

      • Yes Addison says:

        Even if Levine weren’t disgraced as a sexual predator, he’d be the megalomaniac who held on to demanding jobs for years past the point when he could adequately perform them, until he was forced out (both in Boston and in New York). There are inspiring examples of people overcoming physical challenges or reaching an accommodation with them; he was not one. Those last years were all delusion and illusion. All that’s up for serious discussion is how far back we have to go to find the point when he became a consistent liability.

      • Gerald says:

        agreed. Bowman needs to shut up. nobody cares about your artistic experience with a dangerous pedo.

  • FrankUSA says:

    I live in the US. 50 miles outside of the US. This post is a huge exaggeration. I’m on other US classical music blogs. There was talk and disagreement when Levine died. It has diminished greatly. Much more discussion of returning to audience performances. SD just can’t let go.

  • fflambeau says:

    “…James Levine – their country’s most accomplished conductor…”

    Nope. Not even close. That was Leonard Bernstein and America has also had lots of other great conductors like Solti, Szell and Fritz Reiner. These great conductors became citizens. Then there’s a guy called Andre Previn, who also became a citizen.

    • MacroV says:

      Solti was a British subject (remember the Sir?). And Norman clearly means U.S.-born/raised and currently living – Bernstein has not been with us these last 30 years.

      Nonetheless, I’d probably nominate David Zinman as the greatest among America’s greatest living (or recently deceased) conductors.

      • Tamino says:

        Solti took the British citizenship at the age of 60, in 1972. Arguably that’s long after the forming years of a conductor, so he couldn’t exactly be described as a British conductor (only), even though he died as one.

      • fflambeau says:

        “And Norman clearly means U.S.-born/raised and currently living ” How would you know, that’s not what he wrote?

    • Patricia says:

      Previn did not become a citizen. He was born in America.

    • Saxon says:

      Personally I never really got the praise for Levine’s conducting. I always considered Levine on a par with Maazel, who was another conductor considered in the top rank while he lived; Maazel was thought to be a good orchestra builder but somewhat bland in performance, and Levine’s reputation, truth be told, is not much better. Maazel’s reputation has gradually sunk since he died, and I am pretty sure in 10-20 years Levine’s reputation will gradually decline too and people will wonder what all the fuss (in terms of artistic reputation) was about. Without the artistic reputation, we are just left with Levine’s dubious behaviour exploiting vulnerable and barely adult young men.

  • Sharon says:

    Perhaps what is needed is a very well researched and authoritative biography of Levine, written about 5 years from now when emotions have cooled a bit yet people are still alive who remember his younger adulthood and middle age. (I have found that relatively contemporary biographies written after that than tend to focus on people’s later years because that is what the interviewees for the biography remember)

    I have no doubt that there are many film producers who would like to turn Levine’s life into a movie, if his estate will permit it, which is unlikely.

    Ironically, one of the operas that the MET is putting on this year is Fire in My Bones which is about childhood sexual abuse. I wonder if the reason it was chosen was to show donors that the MET will continue to take a strong stand against it.

    • MacroV says:

      I imagine they’re putting it on because they commissioned a work from a major American artist, and that was what he chose to write.

      • Mr Paganini says:

        I can guarantee you that nobody at the Met thought to hire him because they think he’s a major artist.

  • Sharon says:

    Correction: Fire in my Bones is scheduled for 2022

    • Anonymous Bosch says:

      Correction(s): learn the name of the opera, and when it will be performed.

      From the Met website:

      “The newly announced season will open September 27, 2021, with the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones'”.

  • Yon says:

    I have been trying to find ‘credible proof ‘ in his works and my memories on his live performances. but I haven’t, never, ever. I have ever found the abuser’s feelings on Picasso´s paintings—even them of blue period–, Karajan’s music and so on. To disguise entirely is too difficult, actually impossible.
    I still believe in Levine’s innocent. it must be going to be clear some day when we had progress of psychology far from today.

  • Sharon says:

    What I believe is needed is a very well researched and authoritative biography written about 5 years from now. The reason I say 5 years is that it gives time for emotions to cool and those who knew him a little perspective. I have found that more time than that in contemporary biography frequently leads to the emphasis being on the subject’s later years because those who were interviewed knew him then; 5 years allows those who knew him in his young manhood and middle age to still be interviewed.

    I would love to watch a movie, play or maybe even an opera on his life but I doubt that his estate would give permission.

    Are bloggers here aware that the Met in 2022 is scheduling the new opera Fire in My Bones, which is about childhood sexual abuse? I wonder if this was chosen so the Met can continue to reassure donors that the Met is still concerned about the issue.

  • horbus rohebian says:

    As a matter of interest – was Levine ever convicted of sexual offences? I doubt not for a minute that he was a serial abuser but the old adage, ‘innocent until proven guilty’ still applies does it not?

    • MacroV says:

      It applies if you want to put him in jail. Preponderance of evidence is sufficient for civil or contractual purposes.

      • FrankUSA says:

        But there were absolutely no civil of contractual lawsuits filed by any of the victims which is unusual in that the USA has become a highly litigiousness society for several decades now.

        • Tamino says:

          Most such cases are settled with hush money before they see a legal accusation and a court? The fact that none of these cases ever saw a court, could hint at Levine knowing his guilt and avoiding going to court over it?

      • Kenny says:

        But there is no evidence.

  • Mr Paganini says:

    Even letting “innocent until proven…” aside for a moment, Levine was never charged nor even plausibly accused of “abusing little boys” in his entire career. He was accused, plausibly, of inappropriate relationships with young men in their teens, mostly back when JL himself was barely out of his teens himself, and a number of other accusations – again, plausible and believable – that he was a sexual harasser. This lies far from the “pedophile who raped children” allegations that are running wild on social media. These come from decades of rumors that predate the internet era. A million rumors does not make anyone guilty of anything. Show me the alleged victims? Newspapers investigated these rumors repeatedly and found nothing credible to report! It is a moral panic and needs to stop. Let’s talk about how JL was an asshole, a megalomaniac, and a sexual harasser. Leave the other nonsense aside please.

  • Walter says:

    Can EVERYONE just let this POS rot in H-E-L-L. ? The world has many more important matters to deal with. Thank you in advance.

  • BrianB says:

    Sigh. I think Maria Theres’ should (but won’t I am sure) have the final word.
    MARSCHALLIN. Laß Er mich mit dem Tratsch in Ruh!

  • Kenny says:

    “… their country’s most accomplished conductor who was also a lifelong sexual abuser.” Prove it.

  • Tom Phillips says:

    Levine poisoned everything he touched – particularly the Met.

  • Who really cares? says:

    I hope the met opera shuts down permanently. Classical music is in-American anyway.

  • Dave says:

    I worked with Levine in the UK playing Mahler with the Philharmonia at the Royal Albert Hall in 91 I think. As a guest player I became immediately aware of the maestro’s reputation as a paedophile and I remember being informed that he had a relative with him to keep him on the straight and narrow whilst in the UK! No real secrets in this business but somewhere this stuff gets buried for commercial considerations

  • Guest post says:

    I don’t understand why a person can’t be viewed in their totality. He was a brilliant conductor, and most likely a sex offender too. It makes no sense to try and delete either or both. To acknowledge he was a great conductor does not condone sexual violence or mean that you are not sympathetic to the people harmed by him.

    We should remember the main objection (as told by the people objecting) to celebrating Martin Luther King Jr was his use of prostitutes while leading a church. People are complex. People have “shadows”.

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was known to have a thing for young boys too. Britten as well. Why no outrage to cancel them too. Wagner was no saint, and we can go on and on.