Conductor James Levine facing sexual abuse allegations: Reports

Sunday, 03 December 2017, 11:57:31 AM. Levine served as music director of the Ravinia Festival from 1973-1993.

Legendary conductor James Levine is now the subject of an investigation by New York’s Metropolitan Opera after allegations of sexual abuse by Levine surfaced Saturday, according to the New York Times and other media outlets. Levine served as  music director for the Met for 40 years until stepping down in 2016 for health reasons, but currently serves as  music director emeritus.

According to a Lake Forest police report obtained by the NYT and The New York Post, “The alleged abuse began while Levine was guest conductor at the Ravinia Music Festival in Highland Park, beginning in 1985. The alleged victim [who reportedly was 15 at the time] came forward to the Lake Forest police department in October 2016 to detail the molestation.”

Levine served as music director of the Ravinia Festival from 1973-1993. In April, Ravinia named Levine conductor laureate, following his return to the festival for the first time in more than two decades with a concert performance in 2016. Levine is slated for a two-week residency at the Highland Park venue in 2018 for performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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