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For 35 years, an elite music school attempted to bury abuse of a student

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

World-renowned violinist Lara St. John spent decades trying to hold Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music accountable for the sexual abuse she faced as a student. After 35 years, an investigation found her accusation credible.

St. John will visit Iowa State this weekend for a guest performance and to tell her story at the 2023 Symphony of Diversity. On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with St. John and the Iowa State Symphonic Orchestra conductor and creator of the Symphony of Diversity event Jonathan Govias.

Later, Nebbe speaks with Jeff Fleming, who is retiring from his role as the director of the Des Moines Art Center. He has been with the center since 1999.


  • Jonathan Govias, Iowa State University Symphonic Orchestra conductor
  • Jeff Fleming, director of the Des Moines Art Center
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.