Having served on orchestra audition committees myself, I know that we make every attempt to do things as fairly as possible ["Sour Notes
," February 14]. We have to work with whomever is chosen for a long, long time, usually, and it certainly matters that the right person (not only in matters of artistry, but also in matters of personality and character) is chosen.
That said, nothing in this world works properly by committee. One person always needs to make the final choice and to be responsible for that choice, and, in our case, that's the music director. To imply that any of us, but especially the music director, would make his choice based on nepotism is ridiculous.
I happen to know that both Preucil's sister and her husband went through far more rigorous auditions than others on the days they were chosen precisely because they are related to Bill and precisely because we do not have a screen, and they still won. I also happen to know, and this is an important point, that Bill's daughter does not have a position with the orchestra, only that she is substituting-- a natural choice, given that she is local and available.
It is obvious that this article was generated by people who find it easier to blame other people for their unhappiness than to question whether they personally might have something to do with what happens to them. (Mr. Polyakin, quoted as knowing that Preucil slanders other violinists, could not know this, as he was a candidate in these auditions, and, therefore, not on the audition committee.)
I cannot speak to Preucil's involvements with particular students, and, of course he should be careful in this regard, but I also don't think that his-- or anyone's dark side-- has anything to do with his merit as an artist.
anonymous orchestra player