German city sacks conductor after sex claim

26th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

Chinese-born Wang, who was director of music at the Mainfranken Theater and conducted the Wuerzburg Philharmonic Orchestra, has resisted pressure to resign.

Wuerzburg, Germany -- Conductor Jin Wang, 48, has been sacked from his post in Germany, municipal authorities said Tuesday after an allegation that he sexually harassed a young woman musician.

Chinese-born Wang, who was director of music at the Mainfranken Theatre and conducted the Wuerzburg Philharmonic Orchestra, had resisted pressure to resign after the city of Wuerzburg suspended him on full pay.

A municipal spokesman said he was sacked last Friday after fruitless efforts for a negotiated solution.

The city said that regardless of whether the harassment claim was true or not, it had an obligation as employer to act in the interests of the other 240 staff members of the theater.

Earlier this month it was reported most of the orchestra had asked that Wang's contract not be extended.

A city newspaper report traced the crisis to an allegation by a student musician, 23, at a nearby college that he tried to coax her into sexual activity as they were traveling home together last year.

She said he stopped doing so when she rebuffed him.

Prosecutors have said they studied whether he could be charged with attempted criminal duress. The newspaper MainPost said there was an out-of-court settlement.

Wang, whose Wuerzburg contract ran until 2010, was trained by American composer Leonard Bernstein.

A leading supporter of Wang in Wuerzburg, east of Frankfurt, said she would start a petition for him to be reinstated by 2010. Helga Zilcher accused the city of "chasing him away like a mangy dog."

"The man has totally lost face and will probably never get a decent job in the arts again," she said.


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