Sir John Eliot Gardiner has taken the decision to withdraw from all engagements until next year, following the recent incident in which he hit a singer backstage.


Gardiner will be taking time out of his professional activities for a period of reflection and, in consultation with his medical advisors, will be focusing on his mental health while engaging in a course of counselling.

A statement from Gardiner's artist management company Intermusica details that the conductor 'deeply regrets his behaviour and recognises that it has had a significant impact on colleagues for whom he has the most profound admiration and respect.'

The statement goes on: 'Throughout his unique 60-year career, John Eliot has striven to encourage and support generations of talented artists, and he passionately believes that all performers should feel comfortable and secure in their working environment.

'Over the next few months he will be undergoing an extensive, tailored course of treatment and he asks for space and privacy while the programme is ongoing.'

Gardiner adds: 'I am taking a step back in order to get the specialist help I recognise that I have needed for some time. I want to apologise to colleagues who have felt badly treated and anyone who may feel let down by my decision to take time out to address my issues.

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'I am heartbroken to have caused so much distress and I am determined to learn from my mistakes.'

Pic: Chris Christodolou



Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.