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Cleveland Orchestra Hires Law Firm To Investigate Allegations Against Star Violinist

The orchestra has formed a special committee made up of five members from its board of trustees to oversee the law firm's investigation.
ROBERT MASTROIANNI
/
CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA
The orchestra has formed a special committee made up of five members from its board of trustees to oversee the law firm's investigation.

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

The orchestra suspended Preucil from his role as concertmaster about three weeks ago and promised an independent investigation. That was after The Washington Post published a story in which a former violin student in Miami accused Preucil of sexual assault.

On Thursday, the orchestra announced that it hired the New York-based law firm Debevoise and Plimpton to investigate Preucil's tenure at the orchestra, including the claims in the Post article. A special committee made up of three men and two women from the orchestra's Board of Trustees will oversee that investigation.

A spokeswoman for the orchestra said it's too early to say how long the investigation will take. But she said when it's finished the organization will share the key findings.

Preucil resigned as a distinguished professor of violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music last month.

Adrian Ma is a business reporter and recovering law clerk for ideastream in Cleveland. Since making the switch from law to journalism, he's reported on how New York's helicopter tour industry is driving residents nuts, why competition is heating up among Ohio realtors, and the controlled-chaos of economist speed-dating. Previously, he was a producer at WNYC News. His work has also aired on NPR's Planet Money, and Marketplace. In 2017, the Association of Independents in Radio designated him a New Voices Scholar, an award recognizing new talent in public media. Some years ago, he worked in a ramen shop.