The Cleveland Orchestra has today announced Concertmaster William Preucil and trombonist Massimo La Rosa have been terminated from the orchestra – following an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations.
Preucil, 60, had led the orchestra since 1995.
The violinist was suspended from his duties with the ensemble in August of this year after an article was published in the Washington Post reporting an alleged incident in 1998 in Miami, where the then 40-year-old violinist invited a female student, from the New World Symphony Training Academy, to his hotel room – before aggressively kissing her, opening her buttons and pushing her forcefully onto the bed.
“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 …” the orchestra has said in a statement.
“The earliest instance of misconduct directly reported to the investigators took place in 1996, and the latest reported incident took place in 2007 …. the youngest victim was 17,” they have said.
“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.”
“We are grateful to everyone who came forward to help with this investigation and intend to move forward as an orchestra community with a clear resolve to be more responsive and protective of our musicians, staff and anyone with whom our people interact,” Orchestra Executive Director André Gremillet has said.
In August of this year, Precuil resigned from his teaching position as a Distinguished Professor of Violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music, following the allegations.
He was also un-invited from engagements to perform at the Grand Teton Music Festival, New Mexico Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the University of Texas.