The 11/5/2018 edition of the Boston Globe published an article by Kay Lazar that reports on upheaval at the Boston Philharmonic. The source of their disorder comes in the form of a pair of senior artistic figures have been dismissed due to charges of sexual misconduct.
Associate conductor, Benjamin Vickers, and artistic advisor, David St. George, are both no longer associated with the organization.
St. George was arrested in late September 2018 and charged with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
According to an affidavit, Homeland Security Investigations in May received a tip about a storage account suspected of containing child porn. The account contained 83 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including a 1-year-old girl. The IP address to the account was assigned to St. George’s internet account, according to the affidavit prepared by a special agent of Homeland Security Investigations.
After obtaining a warrant, investigators searched St. George’s home on Tuesday, where they found thousands of files of child pornography, including images or videos of the abuse of children between 6 and 8 years old.
Vickers resigned in late September 2018 after student members of the orchestra provided the employer with copies of inappropriate Facebook messages sent to them by Vickers.
Two of the students, both over 18, shared with the Globe copies of Facebook messages from Vickers. In one, Vickers repeatedly asked the young man about his sexual preferences and whether he was circumcised. That chain of messages stretches from August through September.
This is just the latest in what has become a growing string of incidents involving rampant sexual misconduct throughout all levels of the field; one of the most recent was the sexual misconduct investigation and subsequent musician dismissals at the Cleveland Orchestra.
Next week, we’ll be taking a closer look at recent HR measures put in place at the Cleveland Orchestra at the recommendation of their independent investigators. The organization has graciously provided additional details beyond what has been made available to date.
As of today, I’m waiting for replies from the orchestra to several key follow-up questions but regardless the outcome, we’ll begin examining what exists after I return from the 2018 National Arts Marketing Project Conference.