Concert Canceled in ‘Best Interest’ of Community

A concert scheduled for Jan. 29 has been canceled, possibly due to allegations of sexual harassment against one of the planned participants. The Boston College music department was slated to host Boston University music professor Eric Ruske, an acclaimed horn soloist, along with Irina Muresanu on the violin and Roberto Plano on the piano.

“The concert originally scheduled for January 29 has been canceled so that we can reconsider the program and its lineup,” the music department wrote in an email to The Heights. “We feel that this decision is in the best interest of the BC community.”

On Jan. 18, an email was sent by the account [email protected] to the music department, calling on the department to uninvite Ruske. The Heights also received the email.

Ruske is accused of inappropriately touching and kissing two former students, who led a lawsuit against Ruske and BU in 2016 in United States District Court, District of Massachusetts. He had a reputation for making “offensive, vulgar, and sexually charged statements to students,” according to a complaint led against him that was reported in The Boston Globe.

In an email to The Heights, Ruske declined to comment. Ruske did not answer a follow-up question about the status of his case. According to an editor at The Daily Free Press, Boston University’s student newspaper, there is uncertainty over the status of the case. Ruske remains a professor at BU.

One of the students, Erin Shyr, said in the complaint that Ruske greeted her with hugs and kisses on the cheek, and once grazed her lower back with his hand, The Globe reported. The other student, Maria Currie, said that Ruske compared her trumpet performance to sex, saying that “that listening to her play made him feel like the two were having intercourse.” The women also accuse BU of failing to protect them under Title IX, which governs how universities must respond to sexual assault claims, according to The Globe.

His lawyer argued that he intended “affection, not harm” when he touched and kissed the women, according to The Globe.

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