‘My girlfriend cost me a place at music college’

‘My girlfriend cost me a place at music college’


norman lebrecht

June 15, 2018

First swallow of the silly season:

A clarinetist has won $350,000 from his former girlfriend for stopping him from going to study in LA.

Full story here. 



Eric Abramovitz, assistant principal/2nd/E-flat Clarinet of the Nashville Symphony, recently won the position of Associate Principal/E-flat Clarinet in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.


  • V.Lind says:

    That bitch should be jailed. For a LONG time.

  • Malcolm James says:

    I don’t think people would be so flippant if the genders were reversed. This is a form of controlling behaviour and therefore DV.

    • Phillip says:

      Precisely- thank you. Unfortunately the current prevailing mentality is “man bad, woman good.”

      • Malcolm James says:

        This award is punitive, to send a message that such behaviour will not be tolerated, although if she can’t pay, it’s no more than virtue-signalling.

    • Dean says:

      By “people”, read “Norman Lebrecht”. I have seen discussion of this elsewhere and only Norman seems to think this story is something to giggle over. Indeed, most of the comments on this very article demonstrate that Norman is on his own in flippantly dismissing this as “silly season” news.

  • steven holloway says:

    Given the fabricated seeming-quotation that comprises the header, this looks as if it MAY be “silly”, but those who follow the link will discover it is not.

  • music_montreal says:

    It’s a tribute to Mr. Abramovitz’ talent and determination that he won these jobs regardless of not having gone to Colburn. Crazy story for sure, but I’ll be surprised if he ever sees a loonie of that money…

  • Bruce says:

    Wow, talk about a “psycho ex-girlfriend.” He’s lucky they broke up when they did.

  • Mark says:

    “He trusted her. He let her use his laptop. He gave her his passwords.”

    And that is why giving ANYONE your passwords, or storing them where they can be taken during your lifetime, is a bad idea. Most people are honest; the problem is you don’t know in advance which ones aren’t. Identity theft is often done by people you already know, even by family members.

  • Doug says:

    Too bad she isn’t an heiress to a frozen fried potato fortune. Melanson scored about three times that much in his divorce.

  • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    I believe that many schools back up their e-mail offer with a posted letter.

    Speaking from experience, Curtis immediately phones accepted applicants directly even before sending electronic communication and an envelope with all the details Typically, the accepting teacher phones, but I made the call dozens of times when there were multiple teacher choices to ask the candidate with whom they wanted to study so that they didn’t feel pressured to study with the calling faculty member. I always refused to leave messages even with a parent and requested that the candidate call me back.

    All college applicants know that a thin envelope means a turn-down and big manila envelope stuffed to the gills usually means acceptance.

    In a small select school of music where so much is on the line, there must be a back-up beyond e-mail.

    I am surprise that Yehuda didn’t immediately phone the candidate when he received the refusal.

    Hopefully, many lessons have been learned from this event.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    He should lend a few thou’ to that guy who had his clarinets stolen out of his car!

  • Phillip says:

    How spineless, supplicating and blue-pilled does one have to be to call this “silly”? Typical of Lebrecht and SD. Imagine if the genders were reversed- wouldn’t be so “silly” then. I cannot deal with the hypocrisy, misandry, and disgusting double standards anymore. Time to move to Greenland. No cucks there.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      We’re taking donations for your flight to Greenland.

    • Craig says:

      ‘Blue-pill’ ‘Cuck’

      It’s funny how some people let you know instantly that they’re a complete loser through choice of vocab. I’d say it’s very considerate.

      • Phillip says:

        Very droll, Craig! Good- keep the proverbial wool pulled over your eyes- you’re not capable of anything more.

      • Phillip says:

        I’m sure you feel better about yourself calling me a “loser” for having opinions that differ radically from your own- I see you never outgrew a middle school bully mentality. How sad! You may be smug and self-satisfied, but you’re not nearly as witty as you think you are. You’re an inconsequential, mindless little man. Carry on then!

  • Anon says:

    It´s strange how so many of the news reports are protecting the girlfriend´s name and identity. He´s going to have a hard time getting that money because no one can find her.

    Here´s one article that names her, with a photo Her name is Jennifer Jooyeon Lee, she´s a Canadian flautist who graduated from McGill. She deserves to be outed for this. http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/music-student-must-pay-for-sabotaging-boyfriends-clarinet-career

  • Anthony Kershaw says:

    Not only Colburn, but Juilliard, too!

    Why is it always the flute player?! lol

    If you search YouTube, you’ll find the young man is the real deal. A very fine musician. And now in the TSO, I believe.

  • Nelson Curtis says:

    Love this phrase in the linked article regarding acceptance into Colburn: “To be chosen is virtually a guarantee of a high-paying symphony career directly out of college”. What a load of nonsense. Amazing what some writers are led to believe about the musical world and careers. If that is part of the strategy of the prosecution, good luck. Financial damages for the value of attending a tuition-free institution, yes, but not this career “guarantee” BS! In any case, it seems the talent and ability of Abramovitz has been recognized, so it’s not as if her stupid and selfish act has him wandering the streets as a panhandler.

  • anon says:

    That means that if the ex-girlfriend, also a clarinetist, won a job with the Chicago Symphony, her first 2 years of salary would go to paying the damages to him.

    She’d better start practicing. (And changing her name, ’cause no one is going to give her an audition.)

    • Nelson says:

      Probably it’ll settle out of court with the defendant being awarded 2 years of Spotify premium and the lawyers buying another yacht.

    • The Real Anon says:

      The girlfriend´s name is Jennifer Jooyeon Lee and she´s a flute player, so even before this happened the likelihood of her working professionally with an orchestra was basically non-existent. See: https://slippedisc.com/2018/06/190-flutes-applied-for-audition-50-played-and-none-was-hired/

      When she was dating Mr. Abramovitz, I´m sure she realized that her own employment prospects were not great – probably limited to teaching private lessons to pre-pubescent kids. Along comes a bright, ambitious clarinetist for her to latch onto and she did what needy women do, she latched on to him. Unfortunately, she took it to horrendous extremes.

      I see that her name has been removed from the Canadian Flute Teachers´ Association, so yes, it appears that that career path isn´t panning out for her.

      Looking at the bigger picture here, maybe it´s time Conservatories like McGill, which both Abramovitz and Lee attended, consider revising admission standards to accept only students who actually have viable employment potential.

      Training hundreds of flute players who have absolutely no prospect of ever working with an orchestra or of even working in their given field, who also happen to be attractive young women, it is not surprising that something like this happened. When the flutist involved also has psychotic tendencies, as does this Jennifer Lee, voila, Abramovitz vs. Lee.

      I think that all music schools should study this case. It happened on McGill´s watch. They hold a certain amount of responsibility. And for God´s sake, stop selling music performance degrees – particularly in the overpopulated field of flute – to students who have no chance of ever making a living doing it. Don´t put women, or any student in a situation where they feel compelled to do something like this.

      • anon says:

        You’d think that Lady McAbramovitz would’ve wanted to latch onto a as-successful-as-possible boyfriend / potential husband.

        Now that she can’t even teach flute, what’s a single girl to do, alone, with her long hard 12 inch flute?

  • anon says:

    What a biotch, there’s a special place in hell reserved for harpies like her.

  • Sharon says:

    I do not consider myself to be a social conservative and this is going to sound very sexist, but many young women have sex and move in with their lovers to enhance the intimacy and commitment of a relationship, while for young men living together may be mainly for convenience of sexual access and to have someone to split the household bills.

    This is also true in same sex affairs where one part is more emotionally vulnerable than the other.

    Lee was probably expecting marriage while Abramovitz thought that this relationship was just a temporary thing which could be ended since his career would be the priority. However, he may not have said this up front because he did not want to hurt Lee, was enjoying the sex, assumed she would agree that they would both move on, or may not have clearly thought out about what he wanted with regard to the future of the relationship. Seems like this relationship may have started while they were still in their teens. This situation is not “silly” at all (unless Mr Lebrecht believes that Abramovitz was lying). Indeed it is tragic.

    In a sexual relationship it is VERY important that the emotional agenda be honest and explicit to both parties especially if there is a power or professional disparity. Otherwise the person who is less powerful or subordinate or more vulnerable professionally or in some other way, or at least believes that he/she is, will feel exploited and betrayed and will become very embittered.

    This was certainly the situation in the James Levine case (I am obsessed with this case) and many other, although not all, Me Too situations as well.

    When I was in child support enforcement I saw this all the time, especially in out of wedlock cases. The woman, prior to the pregnancy, was afraid to clarify her lover’s agenda, and did not know how he would feel about an unplanned pregnancy, for fear of the answer and that if the guy was not as committed as she had hoped she would have to make the scary decision as to whether or not to leave.

    This girl was obviously sick and her codependence was extreme, but her attitude was only an exaggeration of many embittered ex lovers or those who are insecure and have the feeling that the relationship is on the decline or is very shaky, “You owe me! If I can’t have you then nobody will!” (Remember the movie “Fatal Attraction”?) This does not excuse Lee’s actions however.

    Although encouraging young people in the arts into realistic career paths would help, better communication in relationships is the real key in avoiding these situations.

    We really need to educate kids, starting from young teens, not only about birth control, but the importance of clarifying expectations with a sexual partner. Like they say “to assume makes an ass out of you and me”. However, when it comes to romantic or potentially romantic relationships, where we all have an infinite capacity for self deception, just assuming that one’s sexual partner is in accord with the one’s own agenda, can, like in this case, lead to a catastrophe. Kids need to understand this from before they start dating.

    If Abramowitz, BEFORE he hit the sack with Lee, made his agenda explicit and clear, saying something like, ” I hope that you understand that this is just a hookup for a couple of months and I expect to move on as soon as a better professional or educational opportunity comes along” Lee would have been out the door and Abramowitz would be a graduate of Colburn today.

    Our friend Mark would say that to expect someone to say this is “against human nature” but this is the “mentchlekeit” (honorable) thing to do.

    When contemplating physical intimacy honesty is always the best policy.

    • The Real Anon says:

      Well said! You´ve expressed this beautifully.

    • barry guerrero says:

      If only it were that simple. I believe Woody Allen is correct when he says it’s as much luck as anything else – maybe even more. But I suspect that you hit the nail on the head when you said, “seems like this relationship may have started while they were still in their teens”. That was my thought exactly.

      • Sharon says:

        Yes, it’s luck to find the right partner with whom one can communicate but it takes one’s own effort to verbalize one’s own agenda for the relationship;

    • Old Man in the Midwest says:

      Thank you for also considering the female’s perspective in this. They were both teenagers and for the woman, she may have been deeply in love, with all the hormones raging. We all do stupid things at that age and when you throw love and passion into the mix, crazy things can happen.

      My guess is that she now knows that her actions were terrible. And the victim has found steady employment in the field of music and is starting a successful career. Judging by his recording on YouTube, he is very good and can expect to advance his career should he choose to do so.

      While unfortunate, worse things have happened in this business.

      • Sharon says:

        In Rudolf Bing’s memoirs of the Met he recounts (in passing) that when he was the manager of an opera house in Europe a husband actually shot and killed his wife while she was performing on stage because he believed that she was unfaithful

      • esfir ross says:

        It was crime of passion by teenage girl. I saw interview on CNN with Eric Abramovich. He’s hailed like winner of major competition. He was ask by journalist if he confront the girl. He intend to do it but his parents talk him to sue her and he choose worst act on a girl that he had romance and intimate relations.

    • Little Green Frog says:

      I like your reasoning. But do you think it could have been some kind of powerplay on her part, just because she could? When I was very young, I had an opportunity to sing with a professional chamber choir in a series of performances. At the time I was a Choral Scholar in a big church, and it would have meant taking 2 weeks out. My request to the Director of Music met with utter disdain. (I’d asked “rather late at night b, I subsequently learnt. 7.45 pm) A long, sad story, which I won’t go into here, but in a conversation later the Director said to me “it was my preference that you didn’t go”! To this day I have no idea of his reasoning, and can only think it was a power-trip/control freakery. What is telling that when I blew the whistle he said “I told her I couldn’t help make that kind of decision” (a clever and convincing alternative fact if ever there was – make sure the victim isn’t believed) and at the time he never said anything like “it’s a shame you can’t go/you must feel rotten about it”. There. Was. Zero. Empathy. Such mindsets clearly exist.