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Canadian inquiry Maestro Dutoit cleared of sexual harassment claims

Charles Dutoit conducting

Dutoit, who has a reputation as a "tyrant", dismissed the claims of sexual misconduct. 

(Keystone)

A Canadian investigation into alleged sexual misconduct against the Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit has been dropped.

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) said an independent inquiry into complaints of sexual assault by the celebrated maestro hadn’t found sufficient evidence.

The investigation, underway since last December, was officially closed in mid-October, according to a statement published on Tuesday.

Dutoit rejected the claims as “shocking”. He was dismissed by the San Francisco and Boston Symphony Orchestras in the aftermath of the claims, as well as by the London’s Royal Philharmonic and several other orchestras where he was engaged.

Four women - three opera singers and a musician - complained that Dutoit had imposed unwanted physical contact on them. The alleged incidents occurred between 1985 and 2010 in several American cities.

The 82-year-old Dutoit, who led the MSO for 25 years until 2002, had a reputation as a “tyrant” and was feared for this “mental cruelty”, according to reports in the Canadian press.

He has conducted many orchestras in Switzerland and abroad and won several international awards. In September, he was named principal guest conductor of the St Petersburg Philharmonic for the 2018-2019 season.

swissinfo.ch with ATS/AFP; ug

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