Leipzig star still trapped in New York on attempted murder charge

The latest request by Stefan Arzberger, former first violin of the Leipzig String Quartet, to reclaim his passport and his career was denied yesterday by a New York judge for want of a psychological evaluation to assess whether he is prone to acts of violence.

Stefan is accused of attempting a strangle a fellow hotel guest in March last year after being seen running naked through a Manhattan boutique hotel. He claims his drink was spiked at a bar.

Since then he has been out on bail but unable to leave New York.

The next court hearing is on March 5.

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  • Perhaps he should take up residence with that infamously kinky composer Haas, and his famously kinkier wife (the Perverted Negress, no kidding, that is the name of her blog), who is actually a professor of music at Columbia (God help his musicology graduate students). He’d fit right in. A ménage-à-trois from hell.

    I can’t believe the very serious New York Times and the otherwise sober Zachary Woolf wrote an entire profile of the couple http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/24/arts/music/a-composer-and-his-wife-creativity-through-kink.html

    • Yeah. Just read that. It would be nice if her husband would forcefully subject her to a diet before they commit another photo session but alas, I fear this is wishful thinking.

      • Who are you to judge. What they do at home is their business, as far as they don’t harm other people. Haas is one of the most interesting composers today – and a very nice person, I know him since many years (we studied together at the University of Music in Graz) – and Stefan is a great violinist and a lovely human being, trapped into the inconsistencies and absurdities of US-Justice.

        • Normally, I would agree with you. But they made it public — and for what purpose other than publicity? If a person opens their life up in this way they may find themselves not getting the reaction they want…or, in this case, perhaps that IS what Mr. Haas wanted?

          And, this post, btw, was NOT about Haas, but rather about Stefan Arzberger who committed a crime in New York City. I’m sorry — but just because he is a musician does not absolve him of attempting to strangle a stranger.

          • BS!
            Who are you, angry New Yorker (what a name!), to judge about Arzberger without knowing him?! Who are you to throw accusations on him?! There is strong hints that he is a victim himself and then became someone else hurting someone. The whole case, if you follow the WHOLE story, is full of weird acts or defaults by the Police and the justice system of the US. In Germany we have the principle of being not guilty until proven…what is wrong with one of the oldest democracies in the world that it is not able to secure human rights like that for everyone?! Well, it is a rhetorical question since this country seems to rush into a Trump-candidacy soon which speaks for itself…

          • I agree with the Angry One-the Justice System may be slow and onerous, but there is a victim of a violent crime to consider and the Assailant is not the victim.

          • German Musician. if Arzberger is indeed a victim himself, he’ll get a chance to prove that in court. That’s what trials are for.

            As for the innocent-until-proven-guilty principle – Well, it is already proven that Arzberger strangled the woman. No one is even trying to claim otherwise.

            But if Arzberger wants the justice system to believe that he’s innocent because he was drugged and wasn’t in control of his actions that night, he’ll have to prove it – just as, if I were to run you over with my car in the middle of the night and then claim I wasn’t guilty because I had taken Ambien and was walking and driving in my sleep, I’d have to prove, at a minimum, that I really had taken Ambien that night and that I had a legal prescription for it.

          • German Musician,
            He has not been found guilty of anything at this point. The reason his passport was taken from him is because there is a major risk of flight.

        • I agree, Haas is an interesting composer! I think his music is wonderful. I am just very confused about why he would submit to a profile in the newspaper of record that went into great detail about his sexual preferences and kinks. I guess musicologists of the future will find it interesting. I just find it uncomfortable and (usually) uninteresting to read about strangers’ sexual behaviors.

          I’m sure Arzberger is a great violin player, as well. It’s unfortunate that he is caught up in this business, but please don’t blame the US justice system! It’s not as though there has been any misunderstanding, although I’m sure he would like people to think that way.

          • Why would Haas submit to such an article? I get the very strong impression that he wanted that article, and even that it was his idea.

        • Everybody is entitled to express an opinion and/or aesthetic judgment. The woman is obese and generally hideous. These people are simply perverts (I am not even going to talk about the utterly surreal idea of a black sexual slave and a white master …)

          • …and others are perfectly free to have an opinion about what kind of person you are. Congratulations.

        • Your “great violinist and lovely human being” strangled and nearly killed an innocent guest at the hotel.

          As for the “the inconsistencies and absurdities of US-Justice,” the last thing Mr. Arzberger should look forward to is a trial, because this is, as the prosecution is concerned, a one-question case.

    • Cherrera – thanks for reminding us that this article, ostensibly about the violinist Stefan Arzberger, is really about G.F. Haas and his wife.

      Mike – nice. I hope for your sake that you’re good-looking enough to have friends who like you for your personality.

  • Read the NY Times article with great interest. Basically, what the composer is saying that having a submissive wife -who very likely doesn’t understand much about contemporary music but has completely devoted every second of her life to him – gives him exactly the blind self confidence he needs in order to think and feel the music he writes has actual importance and gravitas and basically keep doing his work. All I want to ask is: in the world of ego driven male musicians, who seem to choose devotees as wives rather often, in which exact way is this actual news?

    • It’s not news, silly. It’s clickbait.

      And I don’t understand why anyone (except maybe Zach Woolfe, who probably has to) is even trying to pretend otherwise.

  • Isn’t this thread supposed to be about the Leipzig violinist?

    Why would you troglodytes choose this as a forum to denigrate some one based on their weight and sexual desires????

    I am truly disappointed.

    As for Ardsberger…I am perplexed by his case. But I am not surprised by the time it takes to pursue justice in the New York City criminal court system.
    A real shame.

    • As a criminal case, it’s not that perplexing. It’s demonstrated fact that Arzberger tried to strangle someone; he claims he’s not culpable because he was involuntarily drugged; he’ll have to prove that claim is true in the trial.

      And he’s required to stay in New York so that he doesn’t flee the country to avoid trial.

      • The EU has an extradition treaty with the US. They could send him home.
        Arzberger is treated unfairly, because his whole life, personal and professional, is destroyed.
        While a US citizen on bail could proceed with this life until his trail, Arzberger is in effect already imprisoned without fair trial. Deprived of living with his family, deprived of being able to work and support himself and his costly lawyers.

    • In this and myriad comments elsewhere on SD, there seems to be little awareness of exactly how trite and hackneyed have become the statements of the politically correct bien pensant throughout academe. This merely demonstrates to me an intellectual laziness and torpor in those who repeatedly default to the mindless cliches and nostrums of the aggressive Left.

      • Holly, baby, are taking your SATs soon and trying to learn some academic jargon ? If not, please use normal words and don’t be a pretentious [insert a word normally used to describe a female dog]

  • Fabio, Bubbila. Perhaps a person should learn about the mechanisms of the justice systems in the places where they pick up paychecks!!! If there are political/humanitarian injustices in a place where one works, is it not incumbent on that person to weigh the seriousness of perceived injustices against the opportunities for career growth???????????????!!

    The criminal courts systems are not inconsistent. This is not any type of discrimination. This is a regular everyday happenstance. The criminal courts of NYC are in total disrepair and benefit no one with their inefficiencies .

    And Fabio…I love your work 🙂

  • This is probably a sad testament to the dangers of taking psychosis-inducing ‘recreational’ drugs. If the US ‘justice’ system is anything like that in Australia I doubt there will be meaningful consequences for this ‘offender’ even if found guilty.

  • Not going to talk about Haas. Mr. Arzberger may be enduring a frustratingly slow judicial process, but that’s not unusual in the United States; no discrimination there. He’s facing serious charges – with a real victim who deserves justice – and is fortunate that he was let out on bail and isn’t sitting in Rikers. If he truly was the victim of a drugging, I hope that gets established and the case resolves well for him (and the victim). Hopefully he has a good lawyer that will be able to make a good case in his defense, and the longer this goes, the better that might work out for him.

  • The mystery I’m curious about is why did someone drug the drink of a total stranger in a bar? What would be the gain in that?

    Or does he know who did it?

    Or perhaps that’s not how it happened and he knowingly took a drug and had a weird reaction to it?

      • Journalists have claimed this. What I find very worrisome is a system where it is entirely up to the defendant to prove his innocence, while police and prosecution apparently have little obligation to search for and secure mitigating evidence as well.

        • Isn’t there security video of him, naked, straggling a 64-year-old woman, a stranger to him who made the mistake of answering the banging on her hotel door? He admits he did it, right? If so, yea, he needs to provide a good excuse.

          Imagine if it happened in Germany, and a 64-year-old German woman opened her hotel door and was strangled by a naked 42-year-old American man. Would German authorities just say “Never mind; everyone makes mistakes This could take a while. Go back to America and return when we’re ready to look into this.”? Perhaps German courts would move faster than the hopelessly clogged Autobahn that is the New York City court system. But he would still have to explain the nude strangling of strangers.

        • All that said, that’s right, the American system is that the government prosecution attempts to prove guilt while the defense attempts to prove lack of guilt. As opposed to the German search-for-truth system.

        • In America the principle (not always the practice, admittedly) is “innocent until proven guilty.” But the prosecution has a crime, a victim, and a perpetrator, Mr. Arzberger. Actually a pretty open-and-shut case if you leave it at that. Now, if there is a precedent crime – drugging of his drink by the transvestite prostitute that caused him to take those actions – that’s certainly something the police and prosecutors should investigate, in which case you could argue that Mr. Arzberger and the lady he tried to strangle are both victims.

          Maybe it should be up to the police and prosecutors to investigate all that, but a good lawyer working for Mr. Arzberger to make that case is probably a good idea.

          • One can only hope for Mr. Arzberger’s sake that he has either a very rich uncle or a magic money tree, which will enable him to afford a no doubt horrendously expensive criminal lawyer in New York.

            By the way, is there something suggestive about the way he’s holding his instrument in the photo, or am I imagining it?

  • ==s there something suggestive about the way he’s holding his instrument in the photo, or am I imagining it?

    No, there isn’t
    Yes, you are

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