British conductor Jan Latham-Koenig was removed from his position as musical director of the Teatro Colón on Friday after being charged with sexual offenses against minors. He was arrested at London Victoria Station on Wednesday, according to the city’s Metropolitan police.
“Given the news of a grave accusation against Jan Latham-Koenig in the United Kingdom, the Teatro Colón has decided to remove him from all current and future activities he was carrying out within the institution,” the theater said in a communiqué.
Latham-Koenig, 70, had been musical director, the highest artistic position at Teatro Colón, since January 2023. Now, Latham-Koenig is being charged with organizing or facilitating a sexual offense against a minor and sexual communication with a minor, an offense that allegedly took place by phone or online. He appeared before a judge in London on Friday, speaking only to confirm his name and address.
The conductor was released on conditional bail and has to reappear at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on February 9. Then, the prosecution will detail the exact charges he faces so that he can exercise his right of defense.
Latham-Koenig had joined the Colón with the promise to stay in Argentina six months per year to work with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra and the Colón’s permanent choir and orchestra.
The general director of the Colón, Jorge Telerman, had called Latham-Koenig “one of the great conductors of the world scene” when appointing him. Latham-Koenig already conducted numerous symphonic concerts at the Colón at the helm of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic and some opera titles, such as “Faust” in 2023. He has also conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The indictment in London came during January’s Teatro Colón’s annual recess and came as a surprise to the theater’s authorities, Télam news agency reported.
The Colón’s 2024 ballet, opera, and concert season has not yet been published, although it is usually announced in December of the previous year. The delays are linked, among other things, to the Buenos Aires City Government changeover. Latham-Koenig’s departure will force some changes to the planned agenda, Télam reported.
— With information from Télam