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Monday, October 8, 2018

Two More Women Allege Sexual Misconduct by Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster William Preucil

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2018 at 12:46 PM

  • Cleveland Institute of Music
The Plain Dealer reported Sunday that two additional women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against William Preucil, the Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster who is currently under suspension for another alleged case of sexual misconduct.

In on-record interviews, the PD's Zachary Lewis spoke with violinists Emilia Mettenbrink and Raffaela Kalmar, both of whom came forward in the wake of a July 26 story in the Washington Post, which reported allegations against Preucil by violinist Zeneba Bowers.

Like Bowers, Mettenbrink was 26 and a member of the New World Symphony when Preucil invited her to his Miami hotel room for a private violin lesson. Mettenbrink said she considered herself lucky at the time, a second lesson with a musician of Preucil's statue being a great honor.

At the end of the lesson, as she was leaving, "Preucil asked about some jewelry she was wearing, asked her to sit down, and then grabbed her and 'stuck his tongue down [her] throat,'" she told the Plain Dealer.

The incident that violinist Raffaela Kalmar reported occurred in Preucil's studio at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2003. At the start of a private lesson, Kalmar discovered Preucil "lying face-up on the ground with his head between her legs." He "just wanted to see what was up there," Kalmar told the PD. She said she gave Preucil "nothing to go on" and that he never "acted out" again.

But "every time I walked in for a lesson, I wondered what was going to happen," she said.

After the Washington Post story in July, Preucil resigned from his post at CIM. He'll remain under suspension at the Orchestra during an investigation of the Bowers incident. Preucil is the highest-paid member of the Orchestra, earning $579,030 in 2016.

Cleveland Scene reporter Rebecca Meiser first reported on Preucil's alleged sexual misconduct back in 2007. She wrote recently that as local outlets report on Preucil in the aftermath of the Washington Post story, they are failing to note Meiser's revelations about Preucil more than a decade ago.

"Local institutions apparently had amnesia," Meiser wrote in Cleveland Magazine. "Follow-up stories from The Plain Dealer left out the Preucil allegations from 11 years ago. When my husband wrote Tim Warsinskey, managing editor of The Plain Dealer, [Warsinskey] said my piece was not referenced because it hadn’t been “directly sourced.” Funny. That hadn’t stopped The Washington Post or The New York Times from citing the story. To me, local power was protecting itself." 

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