Charles Dutoit is stepping down as artistic conductor and principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London nearly two years before his scheduled departure, the orchestra announced Tuesday. The move follows  multiple sexual assault allegationsmade against Dutoit in the last month.

Charles Dutoit Charles Dutoit

“Following an emergency Board meeting and further dialogue with Charles Dutoit, the RPO and Charles Dutoit have together decided to bring forward his resignation from his role as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor,” the RPO said in a statement. “Charles Dutoit had already announced in June 2017 that he would stand down in October 2019; this will now take place with immediate effect.”

“This decision has been made following allegations of inappropriate conduct by Mr Dutoit, which were first reported on 21 December 2017. Whilst Mr Dutoit continues to seek legal counsel to defend himself, the protracted uncertainty and media reporting makes Mr Dutoit’s position with the Orchestra untenable,” the orchestra said. “The RPO is committed to the highest standards of ethical behaviour and takes very seriously its responsibility to maintain a safe working environment for all its artists, musicians and staff.”

“The RPO enjoys relationships with a...