sexual harassment, misconduct and assault in the classical music world.Longtime Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil has resigned from his teaching position Cleveland Institute and has been suspended from the Cleveland Orchestra following the publication last Thursday of an article in the Washington Post that details a 1998 incident involving a violinist named Zeneba Bowers, who was in her mid-20s and a member of the New World Symphony at the time. The article focuses on
Allegations of misconduct by Preucil also were outlined more than a decade ago in a 2007 piece called 'Sour Notes' in the Cleveland Scene, which alleges both sexual misconduct and nepotism by Preucil. The article led to much discussion (including the comments on this Violinist.com blog from the time) but did not lead to any changes in Preucil's employment.
Preucil's suspension from the Cleveland Orchestra occurred on Friday. In a statement released to multiple news organizations, Cleveland Orchestra’s executive director André Gremillet said: "The Cleveland Orchestra was not aware of the allegations reported by The Washington Post about William Preucil in their July 26, 2018 article. We take this matter very seriously and will promptly conduct an independent investigation. Mr. Preucil has been suspended until further notice." Preucil has served as concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1995.
On Saturday Preucil resigned from his position as Distinguished Professor of Violin at the Cleveland Institute.
The day before, Cleveland Institute of Music and CEO Paul W. Hogle had issued the following statement: "The board, faculty and staff of the Cleveland Institute of Music are deeply troubled by the Washington Post story discussing issues of sexual harassment in classical music but will not comment on specific allegations made in the article. CIM has zero tolerance for behavior that puts our students at risk. CIM has a well-defined policy regarding sexual harassment and reporting, and our Title IX officer and designated reporters thoroughly investigate any claims related to sexual discrimination and harassment.
"We have a rigorous requirement that every staff and faculty member attend regular training on preventing sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace. We talk with – and listen to – our students in a variety of forums about personal safety. We also actively encourage them to seek assistance from mental health and crisis counselors which we make available – through the extensive resources available through our partnership with Case Western Reserve University – to our entire student body."
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