Musicians Slam Austrian Festival Over Sex Abuse Claims

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Vienna, Austria.

Five musicians are accusing organizers of an Austrian classical music festival of not acting on sexual abuse complaints they made for years against its artistic director.

In an open letter published Wednesday, the artists alleged that Austrian conductor Gustav Kuhn subjected them to unwanted kisses, groping, bullying and public humiliation during their time at the Tyrolean Festival Erl between 1998 and 2017.

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."

In a statement, a lawyer for the festival, Michael Krueger, called the open letter "simply irresponsible." He said Kuhn would defend himself legally against the allegations.

Festivals 2018