Former Casper Conductor Resigns From Bozeman Symphony Amid Bullying Allegations
The former conductor of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, Matthew Savery, resigned from the Bozeman Symphony on Thursday amid allegations of harassment and bullying of musicians, staff and patrons, according to the Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle newspaper.
Savery has denied the allegations, according to the Daily Chronicle.
In early February, 14 donors, musicians and former staff of the symphony urged the Bozeman Symphony board of directors to investigate Savery's conduct, according to the Daily Chronicle. "The written testimony included accounts of bullying and verbal harassment leading to a hostile work environment for staff and musicians and loss of donors and patrons."
The group of 14 wrote, "'...the future growth and sustainability of the orchestra is put at risk by this behavior,'” the written testimony stated.
Savery was the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra conductor and music director from 2008 until last May.
The Casper-based Orchestra has been looking for a new music director, and the candidates have been conducting concerts this season. A call to Orchestra board chairwoman Valerie Maiers about the allegations of bullying was not immediately returned.
Friday, the Bozeman Symphony board of directors said in a news release that in early February it received a list of past allegations about Savery and immediately hired a third-party investigator.
"Yesterday, Mr. Savery tendered his resignation, and the Board wishes him well in his future endeavors," according to the board.
When the investigation is complete, the board said it “will review the report to identify opportunities to better serve musicians, staff, patrons, volunteers, and our community,” according to the news release.
Friday, Savery's law firm Ugrin Alexander Zadick, P.C. of Great Falls, Mont., confirmed the resignation on Friday without addressing the allegations: “Matthew expresses his gratitude for and appreciation to the symphony for the opportunity to serve and is grateful for his time with the exceptional musicians who have made the symphony a success."