Philadelphia orchestra removes Dutoit's title

Charles Dutoit conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra last April

Conductor Charles Dutoit, right, performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra during a rehearsal in Philadelphia on October 19, 2011.

"These accusations are taken very seriously by the orchestra and the RPO believes that the truth of the matter should be determined by the legal process", the statement continues.

Dutoit, who has not responded to multiple requests for comment, is artistic director and principal conductor of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The women said the incidents took place on the side-lines of rehearsals and performances in five US cities - Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Saratoga Springs, New York.

"The immediate action taken by the RPO and Charles Dutoit allows time for a clear picture to be established". "Charles Dutoit needs to be given a fair opportunity to seek legal advice and contest these accusations". She is among several women who accuse Dutoit of sexually assaulting them in Chicago and other cities across the country beginning in 1985.

The New York Philharmonic said he had been withdrawn from conducting five concerts scheduled for January, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra said he had withdrawn from concerts scheduled in the first half of next year. When still in his early 20s, Charles Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct the Vienna Staatsoper. Retired mezzo-soprano Paula Rasmussen, now an attorney, told the AP it happened to her in a Los Angeles dressing room in 1991.

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Dutoit called a meeting in his dressing room after a rehearsal, and when the others left, she said he pressed her against the wall, restrained her wrists and pushed himself against her.

Two-time Grammy Award victor soprano Sylvia McNair said the Swiss-born conductor tried to force himself on her after a rehearsal with the Minnesota Orchestra in March 1985, when she was 28. She refused to be alone with Dutoit after that, she added.

The final two accusers, however, opted to remain anonymous noting that Dutoit was still a prominent figure in the classical music world.

The women - three opera singers and a classical musician - said the incidents happened in a auto, Dutoit's hotel suite, his dressing room, an elevator and backstage before a performance.

He had previously served as artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for 25 years - and as music director of the Orchestre National de France.

The accusations were all corroborated by friends and colleagues and all four women were empowered by the #MeToo movement, especially after the accusations against James Levine.

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