February 18, 2007 at 6:49 PM[This piece has been edited since it was first posted. -- Editor.]
2/14/07 – From its very first words, the Cleveland Scene’s article is an attention-grabber:
"Underneath its glossy exterior, the Cleveland Orchestra has a dark side. His name is William Preucil"
(Blame the copy editor, not the reporter, for the hyperbole in the deck... but then keep reading the piece.)
The article has roiled the classical music community in Cleveland, with its accusations of nepotism and sexual harassment against the orchestra's 12-year concertmaster. More than 200 comments have been appended to the article, many attacking it.
Quite a thought-provoking read...
2/24/07 – Violinist Peter Winograd, a member of the American String Quartet, will perform the Bruch Violin Concerto (G minor) with the Pueblo (CO) Symphony, reports the Pueblo Chieftain. Winograd’s wife is violinist Caterina Szepes, a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
The Hindu, India’s national newspaper, recently published a profile of the great jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.
2/20/07 – Violinist Judith Ingolfsson will fill in for violinist Marco Rizzi at a special concert of the Ronen Chamber Ensemble in Indianapolis. Ingolfsson, currently a faculty member at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is the 1998 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Gold Medalist. Rizzi is unable to enter the United States due to visa problems. In a press release, the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis explained the circumstances: “An unfortunate by-product of post-9/11 life is the difficulty that international artists experience when trying to perform in the United States. The IVCI began the visa application process for Marco Rizzi last November. This process is not supposed to take more than three months, and commonly takes less time. Last week, with no word about the visa, IVCI administration appealed to Senator Lugar's office for help. Our Senator was successful in getting Rizzi's visa application approved by the U. S. government this week, and had it wired to the American Embassy office in Germany where Rizzi lives and works. The breakdown occurred at the American Embassy in Germany when they refused to grant the interview or necessary paperwork allowing Rizzi to travel.”
2/14/07 - In La Scena Musicale, Norman Lebrecht profiles violinist Ruth Palmer, who independently recorded Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1. “Ruth Palmer is part of a new phenomenon. Every year, London’s four conservatories turn out 90-100 outstandingly accomplished string players who face an uphill struggle to find a vacant orchestral seat. No change on that front. The more devastating challenge is the one that faces the elite half-dozen among them who have been groomed to be the soloists of the future. These college stars find after the graduation concert that they are too old, at 25, to get a record audition, an agent or a big date. In our cultural fixation with extreme youth and sex appeal, only teenaged competition winners get taken on; the rest have to rummage for crumbs.” Read the article to find out how Palmer made her dream come true.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra has announced the appointment of two assistant conductors, Julian Kuerti and Shi-Yeon Sung. Kuerti, currently assistant conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, began his training in violin.
The MIT Symphony Orchestra has appointed Adam Kerry Boyles its music director, effective this fall. Boyles is currently music director of the Southern Arizona Symphony.
The Philadelphia Orchestra is bringing together Arab and Jewish musicians for two "Intercultural Journeys" concerts in March. Curated and hosted by Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Ohad "Udi" Bar-David, a native of Israel, these family concerts will feature an Arab-Jewish ensemble of five musicians in collaboration with the orchestra. The program showcases traditional Arab and Jewish music and also highlights the influence of Middle Eastern music on Western classical composers.
2/16/07 – This weekend, the Lancaster (PA) Symphony is presenting a complete performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, reports the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal. The soloists--Mauricio Gonzelez (Spring), Michael Jamanis (Summer), Igor Yuzefovich (Autumn), and Odin Rathnam (Winter)—will rotate sitting in the concertmaster’s chair as well. The newspaper offered an entertaining Q&A in which each violinist answered the same questions.
2/15/07 – According to MusicalAmerica.com, Berlin's Komische Oper has appointed American Carl St. Clair. “For 17 seasons now St. Clair has headed California's Pacific Symphony, including a noteworthy European tour.”
It is full of lies and quotes from a few very jealous members of the orchestra. He is an amazing man, and I would hope you, Darcy, of all people, would be able to see through all of the nonsense in the article. I am a little dissapointed you didnt take that spin on the report.
But a great post as usual, with very interesting links.
The thought provoking part of it for me is reading the comment boards and realizing how many immature people there are out there...
Anyway, thanks darcy for another great collection of articles.
Not to mention all the inner workings of the orchestra, associated machinations and corresponding goings on at the CIM...
Just because you don't like it and don't want to believe it doesn't necessarily make it untrue.
Thanks Darcy for reporting the story.
The Cleveland Scene is more known for their sensationalist/agitative bent and crappy writers than their "investigative reporting."
And yes, Neil, I do know the people involved.
Second- Yes, I along with others here DO happen to know the people involved. I will not however share with you any private information, because that is none of your business.
It is curious though, how everyone here who do know the situation first hand are on the same side... coincidence? I think not.
Third- Sorry, Darcy, i think you understand i was not trying to 'bash' you, i am just very frustruated, and i along with a few other v.com members had high hopes that you would take a positive spin on it. You do an amazing job on here for other stuff though, so thank you for that. You are very much appreciated :)
I also think this community can rally around people and help the larger world understand the one we live in. For example, part of the reason musicians are on audition committees is to ensure a certain compatibility between musicians. We don't make widgets. Is it nepotism? Geez, sometimes it's even harder to prove yourself when a friend or relative is on the committee. I don't know what the case was, but...there are certainly many issues.
Shall we start a discussion?
However, I will stand up and defend Steven Rose, one of the finest violinists I've ever met and an incredible teacher, and CIM in general. While every school has it's pitfalls (for Cleveland, it's the weather and the fact that it's in, well, Cleveland), I have loved my four years there. I've never felt anything but guidance and support from all of the faculty members and administration. I believe this article did not do a good job at representing the CIM administration in this way- even people like Susan Schwartz, head of Marketing (and a former boss of mine, a magnificent and caring person) were made to seem like they were all conspirators.
Take this article with a grain of salt. None of us can know what really happenend, not with any proof, although we'll always have our beliefs. I don't take allegations of sexual harassment lightly, but I don't take every word I hear in the Cleveland Scene to be fact. Especially when it comes to character battles over very undeserving individuals, such as those aformentioned.
Therefore instead of emotional tirades directed at Darcy or the article's author, perhaps people should look to refuting any of the claims they disagree with a more reasoned and sensible approach. May I suggest facts?
I am gullable and I believe whatever I hear and I would very much like to have someone dispute the facts. To come out against someone so prominent and be false, what would it take? Total derangement of the presumed victim? It was consentual? Nothing really didn't happen, there exists really no such female as cited? That's all I can think of now, and none of them sounds convincing except the consentual argument. On some campuses, even consentual incidents are not allowed between faculty and students. That may or may not be at CIM, I wouldn't know. The reason is obviously a consent could be pressured in an unequal relationship such as this.
Darcy's role on this website is to gather news that is occurring in the violin world, and the publication of this article in the Cleveland Scene is certainly something that has roiled the community in Cleveland.
One of the strengths of this community is that we have voices that can put a story like this in the proper perspective, and many have. But censoring the story doesn't make it go away and doesn't serve anyone in this community.
Thank you Darcy for including it in the column, although I do disagree with your assessment. Unfortunately, this article does nothing but stir a pot of controversy. Much of this article can not be fully validated due to confidentiality clauses and what not, so it is better to be cautious in our reviews of the article and it's content. Perhaps the column could maintain its impartiality, as you have so expertly made so in the past. I do thank you (Darcy) for all you've done bringing us the news in the music world, no matter how painful or badly written it is (that is, the article's writing).
And please, I don't think any of us should jump on any one else's back. Many people don't have a lot of the facts and don't know the teachers involved, so it's hard for them to see it as those who live in Cleveland do. But we can't yell at them for being incompetent or ignorant- they are just reacting to what they've read. This site is supposed to be supportive- if you've got something to say, be kind about it. The writer of the column and others are free to share their opinions, whether we like it or not. If you disagree with it, state why and leave it at that. In the end, agreeing to disagree is what can keep this a community. Let's not split into factions in the way that it seems the Cleveland music community has.
Mr. Preucil is a widely available teacher. I briefly entertained the idea of taking my own daughter to him a while ago. CIM has the obligation to make sure there are no more victims if this is true.
Someone please tell me that this is untrue, that Mr Preucil may have an affair with his female colleague but never engages in a predatory relationship with a student. I don't need details. Thanks.
Laurie-- Thank You. You definately did the right thing. Coming from my situation, I especially appreciate it. You have just renewed my respect for v.com! :D
I am sorry to hear that this is affecting you personally. Without meaning to rejuvniate the issue, I have to say that if the incident is unfortunately true, it is the event itself that is sensational not where or how the account is written up. Not because we are high brow pruds but because the trust we assume is betrayed. I think we have a good reason to be upset and the right to know.
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