Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner has said he is “heartbroken to have caused so much distress” and is withdrawing from all engagements until next year for a period of reflection and a course of counselling after an assault allegation.
The conductor withdrew from the BBC Proms last week following an allegation he hit bass musician William Thomas after he went the wrong way off stage at a concert.
Sir John said he will be withdrawing from all engagements for the rest of the year and getting specialist help.
He said in a statement: “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.”
His agency Intermusica said he “deeply regrets his behaviour” and will be undertaking “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”.
This will include “an extensive, tailored course of treatment and he asks for space and privacy while the programme is ongoing,” the agency said.
It was announced last week that Sir John will be replaced at the BBC Proms by Dinis Sousa for a performance on September 3.
The alleged assault took place after a performance of Berlioz’s Les Troyens with the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique and Monteverdi Choir at La Cote-Saint-Andre in France.
Sir John, who has made more than 60 appearances at the Proms, conducted the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists during the King’s coronation, which took place at Westminster Abbey in May.
He has two Grammy wins and has also conducted opera productions at the Royal Opera House, Vienna State Opera and Teatro alla Scala in Milan.