The Naked Violinist sees no end in sight

The Naked Violinist sees no end in sight


norman lebrecht

October 23, 2015

Another court hearing in New York has yielded no progress in the Stefan Arzberger case.

Seven months ago Stefan, leader of the Leipzig String Quartet, was arrested after a naked rampage in a boutique hotel and charged with the attempted murder of a fellow-guest. His defence is that he was drugged by a person he met in a bar.

Since then, Stefan has been barred from leaving New York and the quartet is touring without him. The latest hearing prolonged his bail. His next hearing is end-November. Friends have raised €43,882 towards his living and legal expenses on Fundraiser. In his latest post, Stefan writes:

Liebe Freunde und Unterstuetzer,
leider kann ich Euch keine guten Nachrichten überbringen.
Das heutige Hearing hat nur ergeben, dass es ein weiteres Hearing am 25.11.15 geben wird und ein Ende noch lange nicht in Sicht ist. Mir wird weiterhin das Recht – obwohl gegen Kaution auf freiem Fuss und noch nicht verurteilt – verwehrt, mit meiner Familie sein, reisen und arbeiten zu können. Dem Umstand, seit bereits 7 Monaten hier in den USA zu weilen und auszuharren, wird keinerlei Tribut gezollt. Es geht – wie es offensichtlich scheint – nicht mehr um den Fall selbst oder um mich – vielmehr um juristisches Geplänkel und Verzögerungstaktik. Es fällt zusehends schwerer, dafür weiterhin Verständnis aufzubringen. Ich bin mir sicher, Ihr alle wisst das für Euch zu werten.
Ich danke für das Vertrauen in mich und für Eure Unterstützung!
Herzlichst – Euer Stefan

stefan arzberger


  • Itsjtime says:

    **** This problem is way bigger than some guy who indisputably choked some one nearly to death. I feel for him because he may be innocent due to the reasons his defense has posited.
    The real problem here does not have anything to do with this man and his personal struggle, race or xenophophia or classism. This issue is solely about a justice system that is poorly equipped to protect the rights afforded by the 6th amendment to the United States of America. The right to a speedy trial is being denied because the justice system is horrendously overburdened. Period.****

  • Olassus says:

    Slow justice is no justice.

  • anon says:

    Welcome to the third world country of the USA!

  • Native New Yorker says:

    There is no doubt the justice system stinks, but there is a VICTIM here — that poor woman. Everyone seems very keen to forget her — she has no defense fund. She is relying on the justice system too. She was terrified and injured. At the very, very least Mr. Arzberger exercised extremely poor judgment. I’m so tired of seeing this story as a one-sided tale of a hapless musician who is the victim of a “hooker”??? who drugged him….Doesn’t anyone see that he shoulders some of the blame for his situation?

    • V.Lind says:

      What, for going to a bar? For speaking to someone there? If he was drugged by someone predatory, it is hardly his fault. It remains to be proven, of course, but if his story is true, you are very harsh. That in no way diminishes the victim’s pain, which you rightly remember, but it does not blame someone who was put out of service, as it were.

      • Paulina says:

        Look, date rape drugs don’t make people aggressive, they make people go to sleep. This idiot was clearly experimenting with other drugs himself. And then he tried to kill someone. Please do let us know what country in the world just waves off a murder attempt. It doesn’t matter how the drugs got in his system, HE DID THIS and dramatically harmed someone. You don’t get a free pass for being a foppish fiddler.

        • William Safford says:

          You surmise facts not (yet?) in evidence.

          • Joni says:

            The whole purpose of date rape drugs is to put the victim to sleep. Violent behavior would be an unwanted symptom of someone trying to incapacitate a victim in order to assault or rob them. This sounds much more like meth or bath salts, for which it would make no sense for an assailant to spike a drink — they are more social drugs.

    • Mark Henriksen says:

      You are right on all counts but that the justice system stinks, based on the amount of time before his trial. For all we know, the schedule is being set by the defense team as they try to put together a plausible defense. We only know that a crime was committed.

      • Jasha Bleiftetz says:

        And in what country is it faster? The guy tried to kill someone, they’re not going to just let him go tomorrow.

  • CDH says:

    I didn’t see the Law and Order (but potential jurors might have…). Did the character based on him get off?

  • Simon Evnine says:

    == didn’t see the Law and Order (but potential jurors might have…). –

    Yes, that’s strange timing being just a couple of days apart. Does anybody know how the episode ended ?

  • Simon Evnine says:

    ==there is a VICTIM here — that poor woman….she has no defense fund

    Maybe, but she is suing for an obscene amount of money, $20m !!

    How is the guy supposed to come up with that ? I read he was thinking of selling one of his violins to pay off some legal fees.

  • urania says:

    The German media did write that his wife sold already the apartement in Leipzig and also a violin. Terrible case. Yes, the woman sued for 20 million USD, hmm….!!!! I saw of photo of her just after the attac, she lookes terrible.

    • Hintress says:

      Just a teeny tiny hint here, sweetie pie. The fact that she looks terrible could be due to the fact that this guy just tried to kill her and pretty much squeezed her eyeballs outta her head. Ya think?

  • urania says:

    The German media did write that his wife sold already the apartement in Leipzig and also a violin. Terrible case. Yes, the woman sued for 20 million USD, hmm….!!!! I saw of photo of her just after the attac, she looked terrible.

    • Joni says:

      Just because she sued for that amount doesn’t mean that’s what the court will award that much. It’s routine for plaintiffs to receive a fraction of the judgment they’re seeking.

  • Dave says:

    I guess Mr. Arzberger won’t be rosining his bow anytime soon.