Austrian Festival, Composer Under Cloud Of Sexual Abuse Allegations
By Judit für NEUE STIMMEN (Master Class 2012 with Maestro Gustav Kuhn) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Austrian Festival, Composer Under Cloud Of Sexual Abuse Allegations

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AUSTRIA (CelebrityAccess) Accusations against German conductor Gustav Kuhn have gone from bad to worse, with five musicians now accusing Kuhn of sexual misconduct and for organizers of an Austrian classical music festival of not acting upon the complaints.

Kuhn has been under fire since November when an anonymous blogger accused the classical conductor of “modern slavery,” claiming he neither paid wages nor expenses to musicians who performed at his Tyrolean Festival Erl, plus used abusive language in practice. Kuhn admitted on Austrian radio Ö1 to making harsh comments and promised to use milder language but denied claims of authoritarianism and vowed to sue the blogger for defamation.

Now, in an open letter published today, five musicians accuse Kuhn of unwanted kisses, groping, bullying and public humiliation during their time at the festival between 1998 and 2017, according to the Associated Press. Belarusian violinist Aliona Dargel, German soprano Bettine Kampp, Albanian violinist Ninela Lamaj, German mezzo-soprano Julia Oesch and Swiss soprano Mona Somm said they were “outraged that despite the well-known facts necessary consequences have not been drawn so far,” according to the AP.

They also accuse organizers of the Erl festival, which takes place in the state of Tyrol, of turning a blind eye to the abuse.

An attorney for the event called the letter “simply irresponsible” and said Kuhn would defend himself legally against the accusations.

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