The Cleveland Orchestra today published its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and took drastic action against its highest-ranked musician. It also confirmed the dismissal of principal trombone Massimo La Rosa.
The orchestra said in a statement: After a thorough, independent investigation led by a special committee of its board, The Cleveland Orchestra today announced findings leading to the termination of concertmaster William Preucil and principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa. Mr. Preucil and Mr. La Rosa had been suspended from the Orchestra following allegations of sexual misconduct raised earlier this year by female musicians…
The investigators found that Mr. Preucil and Mr. La Rosa engaged in sexual misconduct and sexually harassing behavior with multiple female students and colleagues over a period of years while employed by the Orchestra. Moreover, the abusive conduct by both performers was made possible by their positions of power within the Orchestra and in the broader world of classical music. According to the investigation, women who were victims were intimidated by Mr. Preucil and Mr. La Rosa, and were afraid to take action after they were subjected to the unwelcome behavior. Details related to any specific individual will remain confidential and the identity of those who came forward will remain known only to the investigators.
You can read the full investigation report here.
Preucil’s sacking creates huge issues for the orchestra. Reputedly the highest paid concertmaster in the US, he is a violinist of the highest calibre and a massive figure of authority in the orchestra. He will not easily be replaced.
At least two members of his family play in the orchestra. Their position will be delicate.