Tuesday Mar 12, 2024

James Levine

Warning: this episode contains discussions of child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and workplace sexual assault. Listener discretion is advised.

Many people may have seen Maestro, a biopic about the American conductor Leonard Bernstein, a handsome and extroverted communicator. The next most famous gay Jewish conductor of the 20th century was, in many ways, Bernstein’s opposite. Neither handsome nor extroverted, he made his musical mark not as a flamboyant podium acrobat or someone who communicated with the public but as a musician’s musician. His career ended after years of rumors culminated in several serious allegations of sexual harassment and assault, including against teenaged boys. We talk about beauty and power and what it means when people who make great art also do terrible things. 

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Michael Cooper, “Met Opera to Investigate James Levine Over Sexual Abuse Accusation,” The New York Times, December 3, 2017, sec. Arts, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/02/arts/music/james-levine-sexual-misconduct-met-opera.html

Michael Cooper, “Met Opera Reels as Fourth Man Accuses James Levine of Sexual Abuse,” The New York Times, December 5, 2017, sec. Arts, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/arts/music/james-levine-met-opera.html

Michael Cooper, “James Levine’s Final Act at the Met Ends in Disgrace,” The New York Times, March 12, 2018, sec. Arts, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/arts/music/james-levine-metropolitan-opera.html

Matt Dobkin, “Conductor James Levine Spurns Opera Gossips,” New York Magazine, January 6, 2006, https://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/music/features/15494/; Malcolm Gay and Kay Lazar, “In the Maestro’s Thrall,” The Boston Globe, March 2, 2018, https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/03/02/cleveland/cn2Sathz0EMJcdpYouoPjM/story.html

Ben Miller, “Silence, Breaking,” VAN Magazine, December 7, 2017, http://van-magazine.com/mag/james-levine-silence-breaking/

Ben Miller, “Shush Money,” VAN Magazine, May 23, 2018, http://van-magazine.com/mag/james-levine-met-opera-hush-money/

John Rockwell, “Met Opera Changes Managerial Balance,” The New York Times, July 23, 1987, sec. Arts, https://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/23/arts/met-opera-changes-managerial-balance.html

Emily Saul and Ben Feuerherd, “Met Opera, James Levine Reach Settlements amid Sex Misconduct Claims,” New York Post, August 6, 2019, https://nypost.com/2019/08/06/met-opera-james-levine-reach-settlements-amid-sex-misconduct-claims/

James B. Stewart and Michael Cooper, “The Met Opera Fired James Levine, Citing Sexual Misconduct. He Was Paid $3.5 Million.,” The New York Times, September 21, 2020, sec. Arts, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/20/arts/music/met-opera-james-levine.html

Anastasia Tsioulcas, “James Levine Accused Of Sexual Misconduct By 5 More Men,” NPR, May 19, 2018, sec. The Industry, https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2018/05/19/612621436/james-levine-accused-of-sexual-misconduct-by-5-more-men

Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, “Legendary Opera Conductor Molested Teen for Years: Police Report,” New York Post, December 2, 2017, https://nypost.com/2017/12/02/legendary-opera-conductor-molested-teen-for-years-police-report/

Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, “Disgraced Met Conductor’s Brother Was ‘in on the Game’: Police Report,” December 9, 2017, https://nypost.com/2017/12/09/disgraced-met-conductors-brother-was-in-on-the-game-police-report/

Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, our outro music was made for us by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicdesigner.

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