an article in The Michigan Daily described allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct against Shipps that spanned a 40-year time period.University of Michigan violin professor Stephen Shipps has been on leave since Dec. 7, days before
Shipps, 66, also has has stepped down as Chair of Strings at Michigan and as director of the Strings Preparatory Program, a university-affiliated pre-college music program for local middle and high school students, according to the article. No charges have been brought against Shipps, who has not publicly responded to the allegations.
Shipps has been teaching violin at Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance nearly 30 years, since 1989. He served as the associate dean for academic affairs from 2002 to 2007 and as a member of the Music, Theatre & Dance School’s executive committee from 2001 to 2004. Before that he taught at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, from 1980 to 1989.
The Michigan Daily article was written by sophomore music student Sammy Sussman, who had been investigating the story since October, according to an article in the Columbia Journalism Review. In the course of his work, Sussman found allegations dating back to as early as the late '70s.
Shipps' involvement in the classical music and educational community runs deep. He studied with Josef Gingold, Ivan Galamian and Sally Thomas and played in the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera and Omaha Symphony Orchestra. He has served the board for the Sphinx Competition, on the Committee for Studio Instruction for the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and on the board for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. He has been featured in pedagogical and news articles here on Violinist.com and in most media related to the violin, and his name appears on numerous editions of music.
I have reached out to Shipps for comment, but he has not responded. The allegations against Shipps follow recent revelations about Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil that led to his resignation from the Cleveland Institute as well as his dismissal from the Cleveland Orchestra. That followed the publication in late July of a Washington Post article focusing on sexual harassment, misconduct and assault in the classical music world.Tweet
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