Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster suspended after sexual harassment allegations

CLEVELAND-- The Cleveland Orchestra has suspended concertmaster and violinist William Preucil after sexual harassment allegations surfaced in a Washington Post story on Thursday.

William Preucil (Photo courtesy: Roger Mastroianni via Cleveland Orchestra)

For the piece, the Post spoke to more than 50 musicians who said they were the victims of sexual harassment from teachers and performing arts stars.

Among the victims was a violinist who was 26 years old when she said Preucil kissed her, opened her buttons and pushed her onto a bed. She said Preucil threatened her career if she told anyone.

“The Cleveland Orchestra was not aware of the allegations reported by The Washington Post about William Preucil in their July 26, 2018 article. We take this matter very seriously and will promptly conduct an independent investigation. Mr. Preucil has been suspended until further notice," André Gremillet, executive director of the Cleveland Orchestra, said in a statement on Friday.

Preucil became concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1995. He also served in the same position with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Utah and Nashville symphonies.

Preucil is also a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

“The board, faculty and staff of the Cleveland Institute of Music are deeply troubled by the Washington Post story discussing issues of sexual harassment in classical music but will not comment on specific allegations made in the article. CIM has zero tolerance for behavior that puts our students at risk," said Paul W. Hogle, the school's president and CEO.

“We have a rigorous requirement that every staff and faculty member complete regular training on preventing sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace. We talk with – and listen to – our students in a variety of forums about personal safety. We also actively encourage them to seek assistance from mental health and crisis counselors which we make available – through the extensive resources available through our partnership with Case Western Reserve University – to our entire student body," Hogle continued.