Two US musicians form foundation for survivors of child abuse

Two US musicians form foundation for survivors of child abuse


norman lebrecht

February 21, 2014

Two members of the 5 Browns, the classical piano quintet whose father was jailed for molesting his under-14 daughters, have launched a foundation for fellow survivors. It deserves everyone’s support. Please click here.

Deondra and Desirae Brown write today:

Long before news broke of the sexual abuse of my childhood, I secretly wished that I could someday testify before lawmakers to help protect children. I always wondered how I’d be able to live out this facet of my life if my abuse was never public, and resigned myself to thinking it may never be. When the news hit publicly of sexual abuse at the hands of my father, one of the first things that came to mind was that maybe testifying on behalf of children could actually become a reality. On Valentine’s Day, my dream of using my voice to promote legislation came true. It seems so fitting – the day I testify out of concern and love for children would also be the day society designates to show love.


 5 browns


  • Such a tragedy. I was a student at Juilliard when this brilliant family attended the school. More power to them as they advocate for victims’ rights.

  • Jack Heller says:

    The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra selected Tito Munoz as its new music director..

  • Lesley Gould says:

    Deondra and Desirae, you have my complete Support and you have it with my whole heart, soul , being and experience. My late father sanctioned, supported and enabled the mental and emotional abuse of me by my music teachers throughout my young life. He hand picked every last one of my teachers and nearly ALL of them STUNK and were cruel, belittling and abusive, both as musicians and teachers. My father would berate me if I so much as complained about them, would always back THEM up and never listened to my side of the story much less even given me the chance. There were only two exceptions, my 1st private piano teacher the late Mr. John Schneider and my second private piano teacher out of the LA area, when Dad was at USC finishing his Doctorate in Music. I don’t recall this teacher’s name but he was at least kindly.

    In Grad School at the University of Iowa where I went to under extreme pressure and duress from Frank S of Northern Arizona University (also a Doctoral Grad of The U of I) and his colleague my father (Frank and I used to be friends but he has this nasty habit of “disowning” his students if they go against his plans for their lives. Kind of sick if you think about it)….And after I fled there, I was victimized by all manner of abuse by music faculty there, in every way imaginable. They, nearly every last one of them (the innocent know who you are, not many of you), held ALL the Power and easily maneuvered and manipulated the law in order to turn ME into the criminal. They have a way of shutting students up and legally forcing the victim’s silence. Well, The truth is finally out University of Iowa retired School of Music faculty emeritus and I accuse nearly ALL of you. The innocent one, sweet and gentle Dr. Obrecht, is gone now. Last I heard, Charles Wendt was dying of Parkinson’s, Dr. Walter Thomas “Itchy-Atchy” Atcherson is probably completely pickled on cheap brandy, wine, expensive imported beer and flavored Russian Vodka or WHATEVER, mouthwash, cold medicine/ or has had a burst or two of internal combustion the last time he picked up one of his fat cigars or has died from cirrhosis of the liver or whatever. Perhaps he is being well cared for in a high end care facility, that would be ironic. Perhaps his accomplice, his then “wife” “SPIKE” Olivia whatever her maiden name was but is now Atcheson who was an EX Nun is still strutting arrogantly around Iowa City, as fat and gluttonous and vengeful as ever, I really couldn’t care less. And that sanctimonious, womanizing W. “Bill” P Sr. whose namesake “happens” to be the drunken buffoon tenured Concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra and

    is a carbon copy of dear old Dad, a chip off the old block, as it were, well, what can I say but you’ve threatened ME for the LAST TIME! You Preu don’t even wanna go there. At least “Maestro” James Dixon is good and gone and is no more, is ashes to ashes…dust to dust. “The Closest Thing To God, WE’D EVER KNOW?”. Wow talk about megalomania.


    I am SO ON YOUR SIDE my young women friends and artists and colleagues (I am nearly 60, is it okay to call you “young?” I mean it with respect).Bye for now!- me-LAG

    My Great Teachers were Miss Eudice Shapiro. the late Paul Doktor and the Late Maestro James Robertson, who passed away from Parkinson’s Disease many years ago now. And the aforementioned Mr. John Schneider, when I was but a child. My inspirations were Jaime Laredo, Guy Fallot, Izler Solomon,

    Denis Zsigmondy, The Fresk Quartet of Sweden. My Colleagues have included Simon Kobetz and his wife Tatiana and Boris, viola and Vladimer, cello of the former Leontovich String Quartet of The Ukraine, a million times-AT LEAST- the Master Quartet that The Stradivari String Quartet of Iowa EVER WERE.

    Even the oh-so-troubled Late Eugene Fodor deserved a few of my tears of sorrow and grief before those wanna be aforementioned pretenders to the Musical Throne and the TRUE Musical Royalty Ever Will or Could.

    Deondra and Desirae Brown, I shall always stand by your side and support you. The Violence against Us Must Stop!