Concertmaster William Preucil and principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa had already been suspended prior today’s decision.
The Cleveland Orchestra has fired concertmaster William Preucil and principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa following an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against both.
The findings of the independent investigation were released Wednesday, with officials confirming both Preucil and 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.” The two allegedly “intimidated” their victims (female members of the Orchestra), who “were afraid to take action after they were subjected to the unwelcome behavior” due to the “positions of power” held by the perpetrators.
Cleveland Orchestra Board President Richard K. Smucker released the following statement:
“Mr. Preucil’s and Mr. La Rosa’s conduct was inappropriate, appalling and inconsistent with the expectations we have for the members of our Orchestra, our staff and our board. We believe The Cleveland Orchestra should be a model for respect and trust in the way we treat our musicians, our staff and everyone with whom we work.”
Preucil was originally suspended back in July after The Washington Post detailed allegations of harassment and assault against him. One alleged victim, violinist Zeneba Bowers, told the paper Preucil invited her back to his hotel room back in 1998 and, after drinks, began “aggressively kissing her, opening her buttons, pushing her onto the bed.” After she fought him off and ran away “stunned and horrified,” Bowers further claimed Preucil called her and threatened to blacklist her if she told anyone. Preucil thus far has declined to comment.
Then, in September, La Rosa was suspended for similar allegations, although they were never specified. The Italian-native La Rosa had been with the Orchestra since 2007.
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Article Courtesy of WKYC Channel 3 News Cleveland
First and Second Picture Courtesy of Sheri Determan and WENN