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Cleveland Orchestra Launches Investigation Of Suspended Violinist Preucil

Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. [Erik Drost / flickr]
Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. [Erik Drost / flickr]

The Cleveland Orchestra has hired a law firm to investigate allegations of sexual assault by its star violinist, and currently suspended concertmaster, William Preucil.

The Orchestra suspended Preucil from his role as concertmaster on July 27, after The Washington Post published a story in which a former violin student accuses Preucil of sexual assault. The same day, the orchestra’s executive director, André Gremillet, promised an independent investigation. 

On Thursday, the orchestra announced that it has hired two attorneys from the New York-based law firm Debevoise & Plimpton to investigate Preucil’s tenure at the orchestra. An orchestra spokeswoman said the investigation will include the claims made against Preucil in the Post’s article. She said it’s too early to say how long the investigation will take, but added that the orchestra will share key findings.

“We take the recent report of sexual misconduct allegations against concertmaster William Preucil very seriously,” read a statement issued by representatives of the orchestra.

A special committee made up of three men and two women from the orchestra’s Board of Trustees will oversee that investigation. Members of that committee include: David J. Hooker, a former Managing Partner of Thompson Hine LLP, and chair of the committee; Alexander Cutler (former Chair and CEO of Eaton Corporation), Stephen Hoffman (President of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland), Loretta J. Mester (President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland) and Beth E. Mooney (Chair and Chief Executive Officer KeyCorp).