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Just in: Swiss suspend bassoon prof for alleged misconduct

Just in: Swiss suspend bassoon prof for alleged misconduct
Just in: Swiss suspend bassoon prof for alleged misconduct

It is reported that the noted Italian bassoonist Sergio Azzolini has been dismissed by Musik Akademie Basel for alleged abuses towartds students. We have no independent confirmation. The matter is reported on social media by his harpsichord accompanist, Rosalía Gómez Lasheras:

I am writing this post to share the news that renowned bassoonist Sergio Azzolini has been expelled from the Musik Akademie Basel for harming the personal integrity of the students. You may be wondering what makes me think that it is up to me to act as spokesperson for this fact. Well, I have decided to do so because, although this information has been official since April, I perceive a certain secrecy about it in my environment -which is, coincidentally, closely connected to the accused. I believe that this news is relevant at the public level and that society deserves to know the consequences of attitudes such as those that characterized Azzolini’s pedagogy. In case it is not yet clear, from my point of view Sergio Azzolini is indeed an abuser of power and should not be in charge of a class in any academic institution. I note this last point because something tells me that other European universities are hoping this incident doesn’t have too much transcendence so they can be the next to welcome him as a professor in their faculty without too much trouble.
I have had regular contact with Sergio Azzolini for almost 10 years: first as a student and later as a co-worker. I must admit that, like many others, I have been fascinated by Sergio’s musical personality, I followed him intensely during my studies and I would be lying if I said that he is not one of my main musical influences to this day. Since 2019 I have been the harpsichord accompanist for his class at the Hochschule, a job he created himself (normally professors at the Institut Klassik are not granted Korrepetition hours on historical instruments, but Sergio was Sergio) and for which I have never been hired under contract, but this is another topic. I clarify this for those of you who are thinking “if he was so problematic, why didn’t she report it sooner?”. My position was complicated due to the precariousness of my job. Also, precedent cases were not encouraging: MAB has been known to ignore several such claims in the past.
During all this time, I have experienced firsthand many of Azzolini’s abusive behaviours and have been eyewitness to many others. And no, we are not talking about simple “unorthodox manners”, as the many (many) people who defend him say. We are talking about a systematic trespassing of physical and psychological boundaries: disrespect, offensive and discriminatory speech, manipulation, and, last but not least, a huge range of inappropriate attitudes towards women. The latter, to put it elegantly, would often continue outside the lesson.
This type of behaviour is alarmingly normalized in positions of power, especially in the artistic field. A professor is obligated to create a safe space for the student. This requirement should be non-negotiable, regardless of the skills they display as a musician. The “crazy, eccentric, you-know-how-he-is” Sergio Azzolini is no exception.

The post Just in: Swiss suspend bassoon prof for alleged misconduct appeared first on Slippedisc.

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