The Cleveland Orchestra's Board of Trustees announced today that it has formed a special committee to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by violinist William Preucil, who has served as the orchestra's concertmaster since 1995. They have also selected a law firm to conduct an investigation into Preucil's tenure with the orchestra.
"We take the recent report of sexual misconduct allegations against concertmaster William Preucil very seriously. As previously indicated, we have suspended Mr. Preucil as of July 27, 2018," said a statement issued Thursday by the Cleveland Orchestra.
Regarding the composition of the committee, the statement said: "David J. Hooker (former Managing Partner of Thompson Hine LLP) is chair of the committee; Alexander Cutler (former Chair and CEO of Eaton Corporation), Stephen Hoffman (President of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland), Loretta J. Mester (President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland) and Beth E. Mooney (Chair and Chief Executive Officer KeyCorp) serve as members of the committee. They have selected Helen V. Cantwell and Arian M. June from the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP to investigate Mr. Preucil’s tenure at The Cleveland Orchestra and any other matters that are raised in the course of Debevoise’s work. Upon the conclusion of the review, we will share the key findings."
Preucil resigned from his position as Distinguished Professor of Violin at the Cleveland Institute the day after being suspended from the Cleveland Orchestra.
The suspension and resignation occurred after the publication in late July 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 sexual harassment, misconduct and assault in the classical music world.
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.
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