Cleveland concertmaster is named in #MeToo sweep

Cleveland concertmaster is named in #MeToo sweep


norman lebrecht

July 27, 2018

Anne Midgette and Peggy McGlone on the Washington Post have conducted an extensive survey of sexual harassment of women in  classical music, reaching the conclusion that it is ‘rife’.

Among those named are the Italian conductor Daniele Gatti – who insists all his contacts were consensual – and William Preucil, respected concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, who refused to comment.

Many of the other cases cited have previously been reported (not least in Slipped Disc), but the conclusion that harassment is endemic in classical music is a disturbing one and the legwork done by the two reporters is impressive.

Read here.

UPDATE: What the concertmaster left unsaid.


  • anon says:

    1) “Preucil said through a Cleveland Orchestra spokesman that he was not available for comment.”

    So he was available to comment that he was not available for comment. No comment is always an admission of guilt. And the Cleveland Orchestra is actually playing the role of his spokesman? Talking about assuming liability! In any case, not only was Cleveland Orchestra aware of the allegations, it brokered a deal between Preucil and an accuser. Amazing how far an arts institution is willing to go to sweep things under the rug. Is it worth it? Wait ’til the other victims come out (history shows there are always other victims) and the lawsuits start coming.

    2) “Gatti said … ‘…The facts referred to took place a long time ago, but if I have offended anyone, I sincerely apologize.’ ”

    “If I offended anyone” is as bad as “no comment.”

    3) Cleveland Ohio, being Trump country, will probably no nothing to Preucil. Amsterdam, being Dutch, will probably quietly not renew Gatti. Gatti and Preucil could start an orchestra together.

    • Hansjuergen Kohlhaas says:

      …with a certain Anon conducting. ‘No comment is always an admission of guilt’ is utter nonsense. No court would ever judge on such a silence basis.

      • Sanity says:

        I think you should be better acquainted with the ancient legal maxim ‘qui tacet consentit’ – silence indicates consent…

        • steven holloway says:

          You could hardly have chosen, and patently misunderstood, a more inappropriate legal maxim in this context.

    • Patrick says:

      Right on all points, except….

      Cleveland is one of a very few parts of Ohio that are NOT Trump country.

    • Doug says:

      “…3) Cleveland Ohio, being Trump country, will probably no nothing to Preucil…”

      No further proof required to demonstrate you are insane.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Sexual harassment and gender pay disparity, both. Both fronts must be confronted and fought head on in every industry.

  • william osborne says:

    One of the things that strikes me in the reports so far, is that the perpetrators have been mostly conductors, and only one orchestra musician has been named. This is a problem because I think most of the cases of sexual harassment and assault are perpetrated by orchestra members, especially against students.

    • Bruce says:

      It’s a power thing. Conductors taking advantage of their power over musicians. Teachers taking advantage of their power over students. Agents taking advantage of their power over artists on their rosters. Directors taking advantage of their power over artists on their stages.

      There is always the threat, implicit or explicit, that “if you refuse, I can damage your career prospects.”

      If the predator’s interest was actually non-predatory, then he (usually a he) would take extra care, not only not to appear to do anything unethical, but actually not to do anything unethical. If you’re seriously romantically interested in someone, then you want what’s best for them, not just what your genitalia want you to do. If you’re an ethical teacher/ conductor/ agent/ director, you understand that not abusing your power is an integral part of your job (and your duty as a decent human being), not just a matter for your personal discretion. If someone under your charge expresses interest in you — whether the person is honestly interested, or simply ambitious, or has complicated emotional responses to authority figures, it doesn’t matter — it’s YOUR job to keep YOUR pants on. You can’t ethically use excuses like “she’s an adult/ she was begging for it/ etc.”

      • YoYo Mama says:

        It is not about power. It’s about lust and being horny. Period. Feminist analysis of sexual relations is self-serving bullshit. Their fear of penetration is their problem.

        • Bruce says:

          If it’s not about power, then why do these men not go after women who are NOT under their power? It would be safer career-wise, even if it involved paying for it.

          Feel free to ignore my meaningless feminist bullshit analysis 🙂

  • Former Clevelander says:

    1) Cleveland, Ohio, and Cuyahoga County are about as far removed from Trump country as can be imagined.

    2) This is hardly breaking news. Cleveland Scene magazine reported on this over a decade ago.

    3) Preucil’s playing for the last few years has been wretched. He should have been retired years ago.

    • william osborne says:

      Non-Hispanic Whites represent only 33.4% of Cleveland’s population. The social and political structures that support the orchestra come from white flight areas often outside the county. It is difficult to say what the orientation these white flight communities to the MeToo movement might be. Whatever it is, it has allowed the orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music to continue employing Preucil in spite of troubling reports that go back years. It would appear that top orchestras have an immunity to the MeToo movement and its ethos that many other types of arts organizations do not. As for CIM, I have no explanation at all.

  • YoYo Mama says:

    I, too, have been sexually assaulted by men in classical music, and I do not blame them. Even though I was upset at the time, in my naïve early 20s, it was a learning experience. I hold nothing against them. And now that I am really an adult, I realize it was totally natural of them to assume they could make a pass at me and possibly succeed because I willingly went to their places. I was not traumatized. I was a bit shocked, in one case, but a mutual friend spoke to him sharply about it, and that was enough. He left me alone and I socialized with him on future occasions. I was very attractive, and one might say, deserved the attention. If I hadn’t been so inexperienced, I might have had a good time, too! But I am a man and not a woman. Is that the difference?

  • YolandaGerbauern says:

    So is the Royal Concertgbouwgoing to take any action against Gatti ? Or his “I’m sorry” is enough?