Thursday, September 28, 2023

Sir John Eliot Gardiner: Famed conductor pulls out of the Proms after alleged assault



Sir John Eliot Gardiner, one of the world’s most prominent conductors, has pulled out of the BBC Proms after being accused of assaulting a singer.

He allegedly punched William Thomas, a bass, because he left the podium in the wrong direction at a concert in France.

In a statement, Sir John said he “deeply regretted” losing his “temper”.

He added that he understood “how much this has affected all the participants involved in this major project, which has been so dear to my heart”.

“I make no excuses for my behaviour and have apologised personally to Will Thomas, for whom I have the greatest respect. I do so again, and to the other artists, for the distress that this has caused.”

A spokesperson for Mr Thomas had earlier confirmed the incident saying: “All musicians deserve the right to practise their art in an environment free from abuse or physical harm.”

Sir John withdrew from his performance at the Festival Berlioz in La Côte-Saint-André, south eastern France.