As the Metropolitan Opera reeled from the suspension of its longtime conductor James Levine over sexual misconduct accusations, a fourth man came forward Monday saying that Mr. Levine had sexually abused him decades ago, when the man was a student.
Met officials scrambled to deal with the cascade of accusations, emailing donors to assure them that the Met will be taking "all appropriate actions" — even as the opera house came under sharp criticism for not investigating Mr. Levine after learning in 2016 of a police inquiry into a report of sexual abuse against him.
The Ravinia Festival also announced Monday night that it had "severed all ties" with Mr. Levine, its former music director, who had planned to begin a five-year term as conductor laureate in the summer of 2018. "We are deeply troubled and saddened by the allegations and sympathize with everyone who has been hurt," the festival said in a statement.
The man who made the new accusations Monday, Albin Ifsich, said he had been abused by Mr. Levine beginning in 1968, when Mr. Ifsich was 20 and attending the Meadow Brook School of Music, a summer program in Michigan where Mr. Levine was a rising star on the faculty. He said that the abuse continued for several years after he joined a tight-knit clique of young musicians who followed Mr. Levine in Cleveland and later New York.
Mr. Ifsich — who went on to have a long career as a violinist in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra — recalled visiting Mr. Levine's dorm room one night to discuss problems the student was having with his bow arm. "And then he says, 'If we're going to work on your violin I have to understand you sexually,'" Mr. Ifsich said. The abuse began with Mr. Levine exposing himself and engaging in masturbation.
Two other men told The Times this weekend that Mr. Levine masturbated them when they were students at Meadow Brook as well. Another man said that Mr. Levine abused him as a teenager beginning in the mid-1980s.
A representative for Mr. Levine declined to comment Monday night on Mr. Ifsich's account.
The accusations against Mr. Levine led the Met to suspend him on Sunday night while it opened an investigation into his behavior, and to cancel his upcoming appearances, including in a high-stakes new production of Puccini's "Tosca" on New Year's Eve.
News of his suspension jolted the opera world, where Mr. Levine is considered one of the finest conductors ever, and raised questions about what was known by the Met and other institutions that employed him over the years.
In the email to Met donors, Ann Ziff, the chairwoman of the Met's board of directors, and Judith-Ann Corrente, its president and chief executive officer, wrote that they had been "deeply disturbed" by the reports about Mr. Levine. A recipient of the email shared it with The Times on Monday night.
"Together with general manager Peter Gelb, we are committed to a complete investigation of the allegations against Mr. Levine, and we would like to assure you and all of the Met's loyal donors that the company will be taking all appropriate actions," the two Met officials wrote in the email. "We also want to assure you that we will never lose focus on our artistic mission to continue to deliver performances of the highest artistic level to our audience."
Some opera lovers and others took to social media to question whether the Met knew about troubling behavior by Mr. Levine and why Mr. Gelb and other leaders did not investigate him before now, given disturbing rumors about his private life that had long circulated in music circles.
Mr. Gelb, in an interview, dismissed rumors circulating online that the Met had reached settlements in the past with the families of abuse victims as untrue.
"Since I've been at the Met there has not been a single instance of somebody coming forward to make a complaint, ever, about Levine in recent Met history," Mr. Gelb said. "And if you talk to the previous general managers about their watches, they say the same."
"There have been no complaints and no settlements, and this has been verified by the Met's finance office, our development office," he said.
Mr. Gelb was contacted in October 2016 by a detective from the Lake Forest, Ill., police department who asked him about an official complaint filed by Ashok Pai, the man who accused Mr. Levine of abusing him as teenager in the mid-1980s. Mr. Gelb said Mr. Levine had denied the accusation, and the Met had decided to await the outcome of the police investigation before taking action. The Met began its own investigation this weekend when news of the police report was made public, and it learned that there could be other accusations coming.
The news shook the opera house Monday. The musicians of the Met's orchestra met during a break in their rehearsal of Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" to discuss — and try to make sense of — the accusations against Mr. Levine, whom many revered. They also applauded the courage of, and expressed sympathy for, the men who came forward with accusations that Mr. Levine had abused them, said Jessica Phillips, a clarinet player who leads the orchestra committee.
"I think the general feeling is of anguish," Ms. Phillips said.
After Mr. Levine's suspension, two important unions at the Met — Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, which represents its orchestra, and the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents its choristers, soloists, stage managers, directors and dancers – issued statements that pointedly noted the Met's obligation to provide a safe workplace.
Mr. Gelb spent much of the weekend dealing with the fallout from the accusations — holding an emergency meeting of its executive committee by telephone on Sunday to discuss its decision to suspend Mr. Levine and working to find conductors to take over his canceled engagements.
He also said that the Met was fielding calls and emails from people who said that they wanted to share information about Mr. Levine.
"In general, I think people are stunned and concerned, but at the same time this company has a very strong foundation that runs very deep," Mr. Gelb said. "As important as Jim has been as part of the company's fabric, he did step down as music director two seasons ago, and the company has already imagined life without him."
Several Met board members and prominent donors, reached on Monday, declined to discuss Mr. Levine or the pressures facing the Met.
On Monday, the Juilliard School announced that the accusations against Mr. Levine had led it to seek a replacement for him at a concert in February that he had been scheduled to conduct of the Juilliard Orchestra and the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
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