New York’s Juilliard Performing Arts School Rocked By Sexual Misconduct Claims

New York's Juilliard School of Performing Arts has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct

Allegations range from sexual advances to sexual relations with students. (representation)

New York:

New York’s prestigious Juilliard school for the performing arts, whose alumni include actor Adam Driver and musician Jon Batiste, has placed a music composition professor on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Robert Beaser, 68, was placed on leave last Friday, Rosalie Contreras, the school’s vice president of public affairs, told AFP on Tuesday.

The move came on the same day that some 500 musicians and classical music leaders signed an open letter calling for action over “decades of alleged abuse of women and power”.

Allegations of sexual misconduct against Bease, who has been a member of the Juilliard faculty since 1993, were published in the German classical music magazine VAN on December 12.

The allegations range from repeated sexual advances to sexual relationships with students between the late 1990s and 2000s.

The report cites a former student who described “an instance where Beaser offered her a promising career opportunity before attempting to obtain sexual favors.”

– What are you going to do to me? Beaser asked.

Contreras said Juilliard launched independent investigations into Bease in the late 1990s and again in 2017-18.

“Allegations previously reported to The Juilliard School were handled at the time, based on the information provided,” he said.

He said that an investigation has been opened on the new allegations detailed in the VAN magazine.

“Sexual discrimination and sexual harassment have no place in our school community. We take all such allegations very seriously,” said Contreras.

Based in Manhattan, Juilliard is considered one of the most prestigious drama, music and dance schools in the world.

Alumni include Robin Williams, Barry Manilow, Jessica Chastain and Yo-Yo Ma.

Juilliard’s provost, Adam Meyer, told faculty members in a letter Friday that “in light of the ongoing investigation, and following discussions with Bob this evening, we would like to inform you that Bob will be stepping down from his teaching duties and other faculty responsibilities for the time being. the investigation is being carried out.”

He added that the investigation will be conducted “in a confidential manner”.

“We want to ensure that our processes and procedures provide fair and impartial treatment to all involved, and we are committed to our work to resolve this matter,” he wrote.

Beaser, who chaired the composition department from 1994 to 2018, told The Washington Post on Sunday that he was “more than willing to participate in research outside of Juilliard to protect and defend my reputation.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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