Photo: James Levine had denied the charges, Met officials said in an earlier statement. (Reuters)
New York's Metropolitan Opera said it was suspending its relationship with long-time conductor James Levine pending an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
"Mr Levine will not be involved in any Met activities, including conducting scheduled performances at the Met this season," the Met said in a statement.
The Met also said it had appointed Robert J Cleary, a former US attorney and the current head of the investigations practice at the Proskauer Rose law firm, to lead the investigation.
The action to suspend Levine came a day after the New York Post first reported that one of Levine's accusers claimed he had sexual contact with Levine as a teenager.
According to the Times, Ashok Pai said he was sexually abused by Levine starting in the summer of 1986, when he was 16.
He reported the allegations to the police department in Lake Forest, Illinois, in October 2016.
Met officials said they learned of the police report last year and announced they were launching an investigation.
Chris Brown played principal bass in the St Paul Chamber Orchestra for more than 30 years, and told the Times he and Levine masturbated each other when Brown was 17 at the Meadow Brook School of Music in Michigan, where Levin was on the summer program's faculty.
James Lestock described a similar account there when he was a 17-year-old cello student.
"Based on these new reports, the Met has made the decision to act now, while we await the results of the investigation," Met General Manager Peter Gelb said.
"This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected."
An email to Levine's manager seeking comment on the accusations was not immediately returned.
Met officials said in an earlier statement that Levine had denied the charges.
The accusations against Levine, among the most prominent classical music conductors in the world, are the latest in a stream of sexual misconduct charges involving high-profile men in entertainment and the media that have rocked the nation since accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein were reported in October.
Levine served as music director of the Met from 1976 to 2016, when he assumed the position of music director emeritus.
Levine has struggled with health problems — including Parkinson's disease — in recent years, but was scheduled to conduct several productions this season.