Academic thief is sentenced to play piano for old people

Academic thief is sentenced to play piano for old people


norman lebrecht

October 12, 2018

Alexander Neumeister, an Austrian neurological researcher who stole $87,000 from New York University, was discovered by the judge to be a trained pianist. He was ordered to play piano in local old age homes for a while.

After that, he’ll be allowed to go home to Austria. More here.



  • mr oakmountain says:

    Would not that be the perfect way how eg conductors who shouted abuse during a rehearsal could do penitance and be given a second chance?

  • Michael says:

    Even better if those conductors were forced to serve the musicians as stage hands.

    • Bruce says:

      Hahaha, that is fun to think about.

      Depending on how robust the stagehands’ union is, in some places the musicians practically aren’t allowed to move their own chairs, e.g. everybody scooting back a couple feet after the overture to make room for the soloist. It would be fun to see an abusive conductor having to do that, and people telling him “no, it needs to be an inch over that way. No, the other way. No! Two inches the other way! Don’t you know how to do your job?” Never happen, but as I said: fun to think about. 😀

  • Two hours a week for three months.

    I wonder how many other embezzlers of $150,000 get off with 24 hours of community service.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      It’s the best ‘income’ he will have earned in a lifetime – I’m betting.

    • Dave T says:

      Yes, but think of all the rehearsal time he”ll have to put in for those 24 hours. And think of all the years and years of training he’s had to do. And think of how much money he had to spend on his instrument.
      Isn’t that what the Lyric musicians (and all other striking musicians) whine about?

  • Vaquero357 says:

    A novel punishment. But I gotta agree with Robert that the sentence’s duration seems a bit light for a guy who nicked 87K bucks!!

  • Sharon says:

    It’s because he’s a white man in a well respected position that he got off so easy. White collar criminals generally have it easier anyway

  • I’d be happy to play in a senior center two hours a week. I bring my own gear — all I need is an electrical outlet.