Cleveland Orchestra suspends principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Orchestra announced Saturday that it has suspended principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa.

According to the Cleveland Orchestra, the suspension comes as part of an ongoing independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Cleveland Orchestra said this comes following  a report that surfaced in July detailing allegations against concertmaster William Preucil.

Preucil was reportedly suspended and the orchestra’s Board of Trustees established a special committee to oversee the investigation.

In August, according to the Cleveland Orchestra, the special committee announced that it retained the New York law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton LLP to conduct a full independent investigation of sexual misconduct and related issues within the Orchestra.  That investigation is ongoing and the law firm is reportedly “working diligently to complete the process while also being as thorough as possible.”

Preucil reportedly remains on suspension.

Special committee board member David J. Hooker said, “We are committed to conducting a thorough and extensive review to make sure The Cleveland Orchestra is able to provide a safe, professional work environment.  There is nothing more important for our musicians and our staff than an environment where they can perform their duties without harassment or abuse.  We are proud to be regarded as one of the world’s great orchestras, and we want our all of our musicians and staff to be just as proud of how we treat one another and conduct ourselves as an organization. ”

La Rosa was also a staff member at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

According to a spokesperson for the Cleveland Institute of Music, CIM has “a well-defined policy regarding sexual harassment and reporting, and our Title IX officer and designated reporters thoroughly investigate any claims related to sexual discrimination and harassment.”

CIM reportedly has a rigorous requirement that every staff and faculty member complete regular sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace training.

CIM said they “talk with — and listen to — our students in a variety of forums about personal safety” and that they “actively encourage them to seek assistance from mental health and crisis counselors” which we make available to the entire study body.

CIM said they learned of La Rosa’s suspension with the Cleveland Orchestra at the same time as the public and are “not in a  position to speculate about what led to their decision.”

This is a developing story.  More information will be provided as it becomes available.