Sir. John Eliot Gardiner Withdraws from Forthcoming Performances

By Francisco Salazar

Sir John Eliot Gardiner has made the decision to withdraw from all engagements until next year.

His management team from Intermusica issued a statement that said, Gardiner “will be taking time out of his professional activities for a period of reflection and, in consultation with his medical advisors, will be focussing on his mental health while engaging in a course of counselling.”

The statement added, “He 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. 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.”

The statement concluded, “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.”

For his part Gardiner said, “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. I am heartbroken to have caused so much distress and I am determined to learn from my mistakes.”

The news comes a week after Gardiner slapped and punched bass William Thomas during a performance of “Les Troyens” at the Berlioz Festival. The incident caused an international scandal that forced Gardiner to withdraw from the “Les Troyens” tour and issue an apology.