Conductor Charles Dutoit denies 'forced physical contact' claims

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The stellar career of world-renowned conductor Charles Dutoit has come crashing down in the wake of sexual assault accusations by three singers and a musician. Other orchestras have also distanced themselves from him.

Meanwhile, classical orchestras in New York, Chicago and Cleveland announced that he's withdrawn his services for upcoming concerts, including at the Royal Philharmonic in London, where now Dutoit serves as artistic director and principal conductor.

Dutoit's statement read: "The allegations made against me are as shocking to me as they are to my friends and colleagues".

The Associated Press has reported allegations of sexual assault against the famed conductor Charles Dutoit made by four women, in incidents that span from 1985 to 2010 and that took place in five different USA cities.

On Friday, the RPO cancelled its principal conductor appearances, while symphonies in Boston and San Francisco in the U.S. and Sydney in Australia severed ties with him. Meanwhile, orchestras in New York, Chicago and Cleveland quickly released statements saying that Dutoit has withdrawn his services for upcoming concerts.

Accusations of sexual misconduct have been increasingly leveled at prominent personalities in the arts, political and sporting worlds in recent months, with the case of famous film producer Harvey Weinstein being seen as a watershed moment for harassment victims.

Dutoit, who was born in Switzerland and resides in Canada, has had a long and distinguished conducting career, taking to the podium of many highly respected orchestras worldwide.

The conductor has not responded to requests for comment from the agency.

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Dutoit has led the orchestra since 2009.

He said rumors of Dutoit's "inappropriate behavior with women were common knowledge in the classical music business".

Kluger said he was unaware of any formal complaints filed about Dutoit by musicians or staff members.

They took that action after Dutoit he was accused of sexual assault by four women.

Renowed conductor Charles Dutoit denied serious accusations of sexual misconduct that have caused major symphonies to suspend relationships with him as a new allegation surfaced on Saturday.

They alleged that the incidents occurred between 1985 and 2010 in a variety of places, including a moving vehicle, Dutoit's dressing room, a hotel lift and his suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

"He threw me against the wall, shoved my hand down his trousers and shoved his tongue down my throat", she told the Associated Press.

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