Grammy-nominated conductor and composer Julian Wachner is a finalist for the vacant artistic director position at the Oregon Bach Festival. The annual event, which is a program of the University of Oregon, was founded in 1970 and is one of the most prestigious classical music festivals in the United States. Wachner is set to perform at the Oregon Bach Festival this summer in Eugene.
That scheduled appearance is now in doubt after the conductor was accused of sexual assault by a former employee of the performing arts conservatory Juilliard School, according to a report from The New York Times. The detailed allegation stems from an encounter at a 2014 Juilliard music festival where Wachner was a featured artist. After the Times publication on Sunday, Wachner was fired from his job as Director of Music and the Arts at the Trinity Church in New York City where he led the organization’s acclaimed choir and baroque orchestra for over a decade.
The Oregon Bach Festival declined interview requests for this story. University of Oregon spokesperson Kay Jarvis provided OPB with the following written statement:
“The Oregon Bach Festival is aware of news involving a finalist for the festival’s artistic director position. Careful background reviews are standard with every search. We take allegations of this nature seriously and intend to gather more information in the coming days.”