On Friday, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced that an independent investigation into a sexual assault claim made against conductor Charles Dutoit by one of its former interns has found the woman's claim credible.
The accusation that triggered the BSO investigation came from a woman named Fiona Allan, who at the time of the alleged assault in 1997 was working as an intern at the orchestra's summer home at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass., when Dutoit was appearing with the symphony as a guest conductor.
Allan made her allegation public last December in the comments section of writer Norman Lebrecht's classical music blog, "Slipped Disc." Allan, who is now artistic director and chief executive of the Birmingham Hippodrome theater in the U.K., made her assertion after Lebrecht posted about an Associated Press report about four women who had come forward with accusations against Dutoit.
At the time that she wrote on Lebrecht's blog, Allan claimed that after Dutoit allegedly assaulted her in his Tanglewood dressing room, where she had been sent to drop off papers, she tried to report him to BSO management. She continued, "I alerted the orchestra manager, who told me (too late...) that they usually advised women not to enter his dressing room unaccompanied, as there had been previous complaints. So they knew what was going on... I have never felt angrier or less protected by an organisation. They continued to employ him, whilst knowing he harassed women."
Since the initial AP report chronicling allegations against the conductor, ten women, including Allan, have accused Dutoit of sexual misconduct in incidents spanning 1985 to 2010, including one allegation of rape.