Toronto music faculty faces 40 sex abuse, racism claims

Toronto music faculty faces 40 sex abuse, racism claims


norman lebrecht

June 15, 2021

From Ludwig Van Toronto:

Since I began at U of T and for years before, a colleague consistently harassed nearly every woman in the theory department with varying degrees of threat/severity over the course of several years. Although individual profs were supportive and tried to help us, he was reported to the senior administration over and over and still nothing changed, and we were left to try to protect each other and figure out ways to deal with it on our own. I know I had it “easy” compared to others, but I was still scared to come into the building at times because I knew he would be there and I knew that if something happened I would have no protection — because if the administration wouldn’t help my friends, what chance did I have? It broke my heart to see the people I care about suffer, and to know that this person likely targeted undergraduates too, who are even more vulnerable, and to know that there was nothing that we could do because the faculty refused to protect its students.” (Third Year, PhD Theory)


Read on here.




  • Y says:

    I’m pre-disposed toward believing the worst of any musical institution due to my own negative past experiences, and yet I have a hard time believing this. The woke generation has cried wolf too many times and ruined too many lives with false accusations.

  • YYZ says:

    Daniel T’s reputation precedes him. He has dated numerous of his students, so the thought of grooming isn’t far fetched.

    I HOPE this isn’t true. I hope this is a misunderstanding, but previous behavior suggests that this is not the last we will hear about this.

    Now the question is: what is the U of T’s response, and what will the Order of Canada do, having just given him an award.

    • Clara Boyd says:

      Hey, don’t know where you’re getting your information but throwing accusations against the wall to see what sticks actually drowns out the voices of the real victims that have suffered at the hands of others. There is no mention about ‘grooming’ in this article so everyone reading now can see that your comment betrays your own personal, skewed agenda. It’s incredibly disrespectful to assume and speak of women by saying that they got ahead in their programs by their profs. There are plenty of students who spread rumours like that about female singers and this is pretty, vindictive, and dishonest. Have some respect for women in this industry and stop perpetuating jealousy.

      • EM says:

        Clara honey, no one here but you suggested that women got ahead in their careers by sleeping with their profesors until you came along. Why are you so obsessed with this whole thing anyway? someone sounds triggered to me.

  • John Borstlap says:

    One wonders which type of theory was the subject he teached.

  • Clara Boyd says:

    Here’s the thing: the problem at the University of Toronto are the TEACHERS. Anya Wassenberg writes that support and solidarity were expressed by current/former faculty members, including Midori Koga, Monica Whicher, James Parker, and Krisztina Szabo. Let me describe to you what kind of support this was: Midori Koga has made the claim that she had no idea what was going on, despite having taught at UofT and served as Associate Dean and Head of Piano for more than 20 years (check out her reviews on and ask yourself if this person is the agent of change);

    Monica Whicher sent out an email specifically saying, “This message has taken too long to reach you, arriving as it does many days after the emergence of public discourse concerning profoundly distressing collective and individual trauma”. This is one of the only emails sent, claiming that she didn’t know what was going on (even though she is the Head of Voice) and that she was forced to keep silent? Come on – she has been teaching at the Faculty for more than a decade. Was she literally forced to stay silent, or did she decide that her job was more important than the well-being and safety of the students?

    Kristina Szabo has been uncharacteristically quiet on the matter, signing the open letter along with a few other staff members with the same generic, “I stand with my former colleagues, students and survivors.” Not sure why she was mentioned at all.

    James Parker has been the most vocal out of the bunch, at least within the open letter. And yet, he has been at the school for years and on many of the senior committees in the administration. It makes you wonder what his real motives are.

    Not a single teacher takes responsibility for their actions, but instead they are pointing the finger at others. Is a little blurb in the letter sufficient support? No, they are protecting themselves in case someone asks why they didn’t sign the letter to begin with.

    This article also names Daniel Taylor – even though it appears that if any serious allegations were made against him, they were evidently proven not to be supported – as the lead instigator. If someone goes through a legal process and allegations are not found to be credible, is the idea to just go online and spread rumours? And yet this same article protects the identity of Thera Barclay, who posted a story on her Facebook that blew up, although unfortunately there were many witnesses who admitted to never have seen nor heard the incident happen in the way she describes it. It was in a small room filled with adults and other faculty members. It is unfortunate that she felt unhappy about her masterclass experience, but that isn’t sexual violence and harassment. Again, something isn’t adding up here, and it sounds like a huge misunderstanding and miscommunication at best. Furthermore, after receiving large amounts of support from the community, she disabled all of her social medias, why is this? Why did this article then reference something that can now not be traced back or confirmed.

    Wassenberg then turns her attention to discussing the racism within the UofT Jazz Faculty…except it is all copy-pasted quotes from Instagram! What kind of journalism is this? She didn’t bother to find out who they were talking specifically about, it doesn’t look like she spoke or interviewed anyone in this entire article, and then there is an update bringing up a “University of Toronto Faculty of Music professor”….you already named him, why are you suddenly not using his name? Why so many discrepancies?

    Overall, this article was written remarkably poorly, and I am stunned at the lack of effort and factual information included. Saying that University of Toronto teachers are supporting students and victims, when they are the ones gaslighting them, is insulting.

    This article is so swayed by social media semantics, that they didn’t bother to be honest in the least. Ludwig-Van, Wassenberg…do better.

  • Kevin Reeves says:

    Clara Boyd – I’m in total agreement with what you’ve written…none of this adds up, and it’s obvious the profs have no idea what’s going on within their own ranks. The university should squash these rumours before decent people get hurt, and this so-called #1 Classical Music News Site isn’t helping matters.

  • DI says:

    The University of Toronto Opera program under Sandra Horst and Wendy Nielsen has been buried in complaints of racism, homophobia and bullying. Here is a link to a former student who was in the undergraduate opera program:

    Their long association with the Michigan Opera Theatre and St. Louis and allegations of sexual misconduct had many wondering how they would bury that story. Others question if members of a faculty can serve objectively as jury members when voting in high-profile public competitions…uh…NO! Is this their way of covering up the whitewash of the Opera program and of the COC young artist program? Have a look online on TEDx talks to see a female Opera Faculty member and her female colleague having ‘physical contact’ with a student without the student’s verbal permission. One set of rules for some people. Another set for another.