- Associated Press - Thursday, January 12, 2012

BOSTON (AP) - The nation’s oldest independent music school says the director and condutor of its Youth Philharmonic Orchestra is leaving.

The New England Conservatory on Thursday announced Benjamin Zander’s departure effective immediately. President Tony Woodcock won’t say what triggered the exit from the Boston-based conservatory, which was founded in 1867 and has hundreds of students.

Zander also is a Boston Philharmonic Orchestra conductor. He hasn’t responded to messages seeking comment left at his home and with his assistants.

The announcement came shortly after conservatory officials said the president had disciplined a faculty member who retained a videographer he knew was a registered sex offender to record rehearsals and performances of preparatory school students over the past decade.

School officials haven’t named the faculty member who allowed the videographer to record the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. The videographer has been banned.

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