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Ex-New England Conservatory Conductor Apologizes

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Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory. (Image from NECMusic.edu)

Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory. (Image from NECMusic.edu)

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BOSTON (AP) — The director and conductor of the nation’s oldest independent music school is apologizing for hiring a convicted sex offender to film classes and concerts without seeking permission from supervisors.

Benjamin Zander spent 45 years at the New England Conservatory and directed its Youth Philharmonic Orchestra until he was fired just over a week ago.

He said Friday on his website that he supported videographer Peter Benjamin at his sentencing and after his release because he saw his earnest determination to turn his life around.

The founder of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra said he did so without inquiring into the exact nature of the charges, adding that “this was a grave oversight.”

Benjamin went to prison after a 1994 conviction on charges including child rape, but says he’s reformed now.

Zander apologized for upsetting the school community and beyond.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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