Cleveland Orchestra Announces Investigation Into Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The 8/16/18 edition of The Plain Dealer published an article by Zachary Lewis that reports on details surround the Cleveland Orchestra’s (CO) investigation into issues surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct against concertmaster William Preucil.

The CO formally suspended Preucil on 7/27/2018 in the wake of a Washington Post article that included an account of the allegations levied by violinist Zeneba Bowers.

According to a CO statement, the investigation will “investigate Mr. Preucil’s tenure at The Cleveland Orchestra and any other matters that are raised in the course of [law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s] work. Upon the conclusion of the review, we will share the key findings.

This is a fairly broad scope and while Bowers’ allegations are not mentioned by name, they could certainly be a part of the investigation.

It is expected that Preucil’s suspension will remain enforce until the investigation’s report is released. On that point, the CO has provided no expectations on how long the investigation will take.

Having said that, the Metropolitan Opera’s investigation into sexual misconduct charges against former music director, James Levine, lasted just over three months.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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