Massimo La Rosa

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Massimo La Rosa

Post by trombonejb » Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:25 pm

The trigger warning is there for a reason.

Last edited by trombonejb on Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Savio » Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:33 pm

That was a strange video, it was an obvious angry man and it was clipped or cut all the time. He act as an informer, jury and judge. And he involves many others name?

That said there is no fire without a glow. If there is some truth to this it's very sad. I don't know the story behind this, but as a teacher the story is unheard. It's awful. Shame on any teacher that take advantage on their position.

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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by LeTromboniste » Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:38 am

Nothing new here, but important that people know about that. You mention the ITA response – I can't find any reference of it online anymore, but IIRC he was on the ITA board at the time of his sexual assault in Iowa and got ejected from his seat after lobbying by William Osborne. I remember seeing on an online forum Osborne posting about the situation, but I can't remember if it was the ITJ forums or the old Trombone Forum or somewhere else, and there's no trace of it. Also not sure if that was after the incident itself or after the report in Inside Higher Ed.

It's very troublesome that it took so many years after the incident for any action to be taken by the Cleveland Orchestra or the CIM. It was well known in the trombone world (he had lost his seat on the ITA board for it, and it had been reported in the press). I even know trombone teachers including a CIM alumnus who would not recommend their students apply to CIM because of this.

Then again there are teachers and principal players out there who literally had restraining orders against them for inappropriate behaviour towards female students and are still in their jobs, so can't say it's very surprising.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by JohnL » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:47 am

Part of the problem is the tendency to turn a blind eye to the "eccentricities" of extremely talented people. But it's not just that. Successful predators have to be very good at creating an image such that those around them will automatically dismiss any hint of inappropriate activity with something like:
"I know that person; they'd never do anything like that."
"It must have just been a misunderstanding."
"It must be some sort of revenge or extortion thing."
"No one really got hurt."
and the like.

Even when someone does believe that something happened, there's a tendency to think that a cautionary word or two to the person is sufficient to prevent a recurrence - the idea being that the person really didn't understand that what they were doing crossed the line.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Posaunus » Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:50 pm

I haven't seen much value in this poster's videos. Certainly no new information in this one. Slog though it if you must.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Burgerbob » Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:02 pm

Posaunus wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:50 pm
I haven't seen much value in this poster's videos. Certainly no new information in this one. Slog though it if you must.
That seems a bit off the mark considering the content here. There are plenty of people that are not aware of Massimo's past and should be informed.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by hyperbolica » Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:00 pm

I'm just going to say this. It seems obvious, but a lot of adults have forgotten a lot of basic stuff about how to get along in the world.

1) I believe in redemption and forgiveness. I believe that people can learn and grow, and change. I don't get this whole "let's eff up entire careers because someone was found to be imperfect" stuff.

2) I believe that the people screaming for heads on platters (not the victims - the people who push retribution are often not the victims) would probably be found guilty of some other impropriety were anyone to actually look. The whole movement is guilty of such hypocrisy that it's a little maddening.

Have you ever done something you're not proud of? I know I have. Fortunately no one has decided to end my career because I did something stupid at one point. I can tell you that I've learned from my stupidity, and I'm less stupid now. If you go around cancelling people, you just make people very bitter and much less likely to change. And the people doing the cancelling become even more callous and self-righteous, and a little drunk with ridiculous power. Power they don't deserve.

This strikes me very oddly. We have a very non-victorian society that somehow expects people to act in a very orthodox victorian manner. It's false. It's hypocritical, and some day we will look back at this and shake our heads in horror. Well, it has already happened in the past, and the whole McCarthyism seems to have been forgotten, or some people never learned about it. It's exactly the same sort of nonsense, but now the perceived crime can be anything instead of just being soft on communism.

When I was at New England Conservatory, my sightsinging teacher Dr. Felice made an overt pass at me, linking my grades to getting extra help at his house (with his arms around my neck). If I was 18 at the time, it wasn't by much. In those days we just brushed it off and avoided being alone with him. These days we'd destroy his career with no due process. I suggest something in between. Get the guy the help he needs. Let him teach, but with some sort of real supervision or awareness. Felice is probably long dead by now. I don't wish him or his memory any ill, but we need to look at things for what they are. Not with the rage so many people don't seem to be able to avoid.

When we cancel people as a knee jerk reaction, everybody loses. We let a person with an untreated problem (and now a real reason to be bitter) back into society with no way to make a living. The victim doesn't see a problem get solved, it's just moved somewhere else. And the people pushing the cancel get the thrill of undeserved, unchecked, and unvetted power.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by paulyg » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:42 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:00 pm
I'm just going to say this. It seems obvious, but a lot of adults have forgotten a lot of basic stuff about how to get along in the world.
Someone should have reminded Massimo.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by robcat2075 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:37 pm

We could excuse anything if we just vaguely redefine it as "did something stupid," as if it were a one-time whoopsie like wearing orange to a funeral.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by LeTromboniste » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:20 am

Yes, repeatedly assaulting students sexually is just "something stupid he did" or "being imperfect"...

And it only happened that one time he was stupid, he should be allowed to redeem himself...Except for all the other times he did it again or tried to do it again, with the same modus operandi ......



Since when does forgiveness not need to be earned, and since when does redemption not involve going through hardship first and amending your wrongs?

The whole "but his career...." argument disgusts me. What about the careers he may have destroyed, and could destroy in the future if allowed to continue?

Let the guy teach but have him go through therapy?! Are you kidding? He's a repeat sex offender in a position of authority over young people. Frankly the guy should be in prison. Unfortunately we have criminal justice systems that are built in ways where it is extremely difficult (really, next to impossible) to prosecute most sexual assaults. In that context, not allowing a predator to use his authority as a teacher to prey on students is really the least we can do.

Having a job as a superstar is not a right. Going through your education without getting sexually assaulted on the other hand, very much is a right. I didn't think the choice of which one to protect was so hard.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Kdanielsen » Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:49 am

LeTromboniste wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:20 am
Yes, repeatedly assaulting students sexually is just "something stupid he did" or "being imperfect"...

And it only happened that one time he was stupid, he should be allowed to redeem himself...Except for all the other times he did it again or tried to do it again, with the same modus operandi ......



Since when does forgiveness not need to be earned, and since when does redemption not involve going through hardship first and amending your wrongs?

The whole "but his career...." argument disgusts me. What about the careers he may have destroyed, and could destroy in the future if allowed to continue?

Let the guy teach but have him go through therapy?! Are you kidding? He's a repeat sex offender in a position of authority over young people. Frankly the guy should be in prison. Unfortunately we have criminal justice systems that are built in ways where it is extremely difficult (really, next to impossible) to prosecute most sexual assaults. In that context, not allowing a predator to use his authority as a teacher to prey on students is really the least we can do.

Having a job as a superstar is not a right. Going through your education without getting sexually assaulted on the other hand, very much is a right. I didn't think the choice of which one to protect was so hard.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by robcat2075 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:28 pm

I wonder who in the Cleveland Orchestra org had the task of telling Preucil and LaRosa they were fired.

The CEO? A player rep? The HR lady?

And I wonder how it's delivered.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Bach5G » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:11 pm

“We’ve decided to go in a different direction. We’ll have our people contact your people.”
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by CalgaryTbone » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:57 pm

robcat2075 wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:28 pm
I wonder who in the Cleveland Orchestra org had the task of telling Preucil and LaRosa they were fired.

The CEO? A player rep? The HR lady?

And I wonder how it's delivered.
Probably a registered letter (delivered by courier) from the orchestra's lawyers.

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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:10 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:00 pm
Have you ever done something you're not proud of?
Like being a sexual predator with your students?
hyperbolica wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:00 pm
I know I have.
Ouch
hyperbolica wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:00 pm
Fortunately no one has decided to end my career because I did something stupid at one point. I can tell you that I've learned from my stupidity, and I'm less stupid now. If you go around cancelling people, you just make people very bitter and much less likely to change. And the people doing the cancelling become even more callous and self-righteous, and a little drunk with ridiculous power. Power they don't deserve.
No, employers deserve the power to fire employees who are sexual predators or racists, or bad at their job. Especially if these things occur while they are working. Imagine not being able to fire a sub-par employee who has ten HR complaints about sexual harassment, abuse, etc because you had to wait for a court to prove it. Completely different situation from being imprisoned without due process.
hyperbolica wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:00 pm
When I was at New England Conservatory, my sightsinging teacher Dr. Felice made an overt pass at me, linking my grades to getting extra help at his house (with his arms around my neck). If I was 18 at the time, it wasn't by much. In those days we just brushed it off and avoided being alone with him. These days we'd destroy his career with no due process. I suggest something in between. Get the guy the help he needs. Let him teach, but with some sort of real supervision or awareness. Felice is probably long dead by now. I don't wish him or his memory any ill, but we need to look at things for what they are. Not with the rage so many people don't seem to be able to avoid.

When we cancel people as a knee jerk reaction, everybody loses. We let a person with an untreated problem (and now a real reason to be bitter) back into society with no way to make a living. The victim doesn't see a problem get solved, it's just moved somewhere else. And the people pushing the cancel get the thrill of undeserved, unchecked, and unvetted power.
I think if enough of your customers (students) complain about an employee, even without any sort of due process, you as an employer have every right to fire them and to be honest and on the record about why you did. And the press has every right to do objective reporting about it. You don't see any of these people fighting in court to get their job back, because they actually did do the horrible things that got them fired. It wouldn't work. Even if they legitimately had a case, the employee could just pull out the stack of sworn statements from students against the alleged perpetrators.

What's crazy is that you claim to have experienced this same sort of problem in college but think that any kind of sensitive approach would have solved it.

Is there a record of sexual predators being rehabilitated? I don't think there is one, but again, look at it all from the employer's perspective -- if you have an employee, and all of your customers are complaining that he tried to make moves on them or said sexual things while he delivered the product they paid for, ignoring that problem is not something you can do. It's posted online, there are articles about it now, and your perspective customers have all heard about it. Do you say, no, we are giving this guy another chance? No! You won't have future customers, and will lose the trust of your past/current customers. This is all based on people feeling comfortable with coming forward with their stories. Ignore the problem and they will come forward to you. They'll go somewhere even more public if it really is an issue for them. How can you, as an employer, not promote people coming forward and not support them? Note, again, there was no equal outcry from audiences saying "these people are crazy, La Rosa would never do that".


Also for the record, I avoid the OPs videos like the plague. They aren't good.
Last edited by harrisonreed on Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by robcat2075 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:09 pm

The "no due process" claim got presented last time this came up.

But lack of "due process" is why these players held their jobs for so long. In a non-bonkers world with a non-bonkers process these complaints would have been seriously looked into and evaluated years ago rather than ignored.

Due process finally happening
is what got them fired. Someone finally did a professional investigation, collected relevant testimony and, most significantly, gave the accused players an opportunity to rebut the accusations.

That they couldn't or wouldn't rebut it in a way that could give their employers even some fig leafs of reasonable doubt is telling.

Most people get fired because the boss said so. These players got far more process than that.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by spencercarran » Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:51 am

hyperbolica wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:00 pm
I'm just going to say this. It seems obvious, but a lot of adults have forgotten a lot of basic stuff about how to get along in the world.

1) I believe in redemption and forgiveness. I believe that people can learn and grow, and change. I don't get this whole "let's eff up entire careers because someone was found to be imperfect" stuff.
La Rosa has still been performing, teaching, and recording. His "entire career" has not been destroyed, he is certainly not starving in the street.
hyperbolica wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:00 pm
Have you ever done something you're not proud of? I know I have. Fortunately no one has decided to end my career because I did something stupid at one point. I can tell you that I've learned from my stupidity, and I'm less stupid now.
Sure, but there are gradations of "mistakes" and some of them absolutely should preclude the offender being in a position with ready access to potential targets (eg any teaching job). That's just a matter of reducing the risk of further abuse and protecting current/future students.

I can tell you from direct observation and experience that people who abuse positions of power are very seldom held to account in any meaningful way. There are a handful of high-profile cases where someone lost a coveted position because of allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate conduct, but there are far, far more instances in which the victims are intimidated into silence (or simply ignored if/when they do speak up) and the abuser continues on their merry way. People who complain about unchecked "cancel culture" are, frankly, completely detached from the reality around these situations.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by brtnats » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:33 am

We as a culture are also still trying to thread the needle between removing someone from a job who is actively hurting people, forcing them to wear a scarlett letter, and keeping the issue alive in text for 2 years because as someone else noted, people might not know. I’m pretty sure anybody with Google knows.

I tend to agree with the position that no one is guaranteed or owed very much. La Rosa was certainly not owed a high-power position and legal due process when he was working for an at-will employer. But I also believe that when someone has paid for their mistakes, it’s not right to keep pouring on the salt. Maybe you don’t believe he has paid these mistakes, and they were mistakes. Stupid, systemic, horrible mistakes. But beyond branding the guy a sex offender, taking away his job, and smearing his name in public, what else do some of you want? Do you want him to immolate himself on live TV?

He’s paid a heavy price. Maybe that’s good enough. But I’d rather the story focus on helping the victims instead of victimizing the monster.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by GabrielRice » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:03 am

brtnats wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:33 am
He’s paid a heavy price. Maybe that’s good enough. But I’d rather the story focus on helping the victims instead of victimizing the monster.
Has he? A quick look at his facebook profile shows him doing just fine in Italy, with a new teaching job, a summer workshop planned, and solo engagements on his calendar.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by spencercarran » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:42 am

brtnats wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:33 am
But beyond branding the guy a sex offender, taking away his job, and smearing his name in public, what else do some of you want? Do you want him to immolate himself on live TV?

He’s paid a heavy price. Maybe that’s good enough. But I’d rather the story focus on helping the victims instead of victimizing the monster.
Mostly I want him kept out of positions where he could pose a threat to other potential victims, so his resumption of a teaching schedule is a problem. Having him in an orchestra is potentially dicey since the Cleveland Orchestra's investigation found he had a pattern of harassment towards colleagues there as well. I'm not particularly bothered if he wants to give recitals or record solo albums, even if I personally choose not to buy tickets or CDs for those.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by mbarbier » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:49 am

brtnats wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:33 am

I’m pretty sure anybody with Google knows.
......
But beyond branding the guy a sex offender, taking away his job, and smearing his name in public, what else do some of you want? Do you want him to immolate himself on live TV?

He’s paid a heavy price. Maybe that’s good enough. But I’d rather the story focus on helping the victims instead of victimizing the monster.
Given some of the comments on the youtube video before they were removed, a surprising number of young trombonists didn't know and it's pretty critical that demographic does.

Has he paid a heavy price? maybe. no one is asking for him to immolate himself on tv, BUT he's literally said nothing at all. he just went silent for a while then just...started teaching again? That's especially messed up cause he's right back into a powerful position even if it's on a smaller scale.

given that he's not seemed to admit responsibility in any form of public way before taking a public teaching position doesn't give any reason to have much faith in him. Especially considering that this is the person that actively sued people for speaking up about what he'd done when he was in a position of power. With the main lawsuit that stemmed from two trombonists basically warning others about what he is on facebook, he took them to court and won based on some rather small inaccuracies. However in that lawsuit it came out that it wasn't just the one incident that the posts were about, but a series of them. it's pretty hard to help the victims when no one wants to talk about it because he's known for suing people who do.

This is a guy who actively sued people to keep this under wraps, yet has he repaid those he sued? Has he made any form of ammends? Since he was so anxious to keep things quiet when he had his job, it's hard to believe that his silence now says nothing more than he's sorry for getting caught more so than what he's done.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by robcat2075 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:43 am

Unresolved, and unlikely to ever be resolved, is any consequence for the people who knew what was going on and either ignored it or worked to cover it up.

Here is a story from 2007, long before this all broke open, about Preucil abusing his position both musically and non-musically. Everyone seems to "know", too many for the hierarchy to not know and yet nothing will happen for another decade.

Sour Notes
Underneath its glossy exterior, the Cleveland Orchestra has a dark side. His name is William Preucil.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by mbarbier » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:35 pm

robcat2075 wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:43 am


Here is a story from 2007, long before this all broke open, about Preucil abusing his position both musically and non-musically. Everyone seems to "know", too many for the hierarchy to not know and yet nothing will happen for another decade.

Sour Notes
Underneath its glossy exterior, the Cleveland Orchestra has a dark side. His name is William Preucil.
i was a student at cim when that article came out and was friends with student talked about (as well as some of the people who later came forward). the conversation at that time was so mostly "well that was stupid of him" or he should've read the room better or if he was going to sue the writer. It's at least hopeful that the conversation has shifted in the last 13 years from a more or less tacit shrug to "fuck that guy".

To me it's wild that for both he and La Rosa that CIM has come out so thoroughly ok reputation wise. They were fully aware of Preucil back then and kept him on. There was enough clarity after the Iowa incident that the other trombone teacher quit CIM in order to have as little contact with him as possible, as still CIM kept employing him. Even in the announcement they sent to alumni the school wrote that they "sadly accepted" his resignation. There shouldn't have been anything remotely sad about it other than it not happening years before. La Rosa getting another job seems to point to the same issue that CIM was fine with until they couldn't be- if it gets students then they'll be ok with employing predators. The 700+ comments on Massimo's FB post announcing his employment seem to suggest that the trombone doesn't much care either, sadly.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:54 pm

mbarbier wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:35 pm
La Rosa getting another job seems to point to the same issue that CIM was fine with until they couldn't be- if it gets students then they'll be ok with employing predators. The 700+ comments on Massimo's FB post announcing his employment seem to suggest that the trombone doesn't much care either, sadly.
Well, judging by some of the comments here, "he's served his time" or something.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by mbarbier » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:10 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:54 pm


Well, judging by some of the comments here, "he's served his time" or something.
guess we what know how many years need to be reached for the 'it was a different time' argument to develop a new variant.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by brtnats » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:27 pm

GabrielRice wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:03 am

Has he? A quick look at his facebook profile shows him doing just fine in Italy, with a new teaching job, a summer workshop planned, and solo engagements on his calendar.
Gabe, I’d say he has. Getting fired from 2 high-profile jobs and having his name blacklisted in America is a pretty steep price. But that’s clearly not a dealbreaker for folks who care more about his trombone playing than his behavior. I find it impossible to believe that none of his new employers or contractors don’t know what happened.
mbarbier wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:35 pm
La Rosa getting another job seems to point to the same issue that CIM was fine with until they couldn't be- if it gets students then they'll be ok with employing predators. The 700+ comments on Massimo's FB post announcing his employment seem to suggest that the trombone doesn't much care either, sadly.
Bingo. To expect an amoral corporate-interest like a university to care, at all, about personal conduct of a faculty member that’s generating income, without that conduct harming the bottom line, is silly. They kept him around until he hurt the bottom line. And he will successfully move from position to position using that criteria for years. That’s not his problem, it’s the university problem. No amount of shock YouTube videos will change the fact that he’s a world-class trombonist who can teach everywhere. What might change that is focusing on the victims and their stories instead of La Rosa. I wouldn’t send my child to a college that employed him, but I get the feeling I’m in the minority.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by robcat2075 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:51 pm

mbarbier wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:35 pm
La Rosa getting another job seems to point to the same issue that CIM was fine with until they couldn't be- if it gets students then they'll be ok with employing predators.
Was he a unique draw? Were people going to CIM because LaRosa taught there?

Clearly he is a fine player but is he a superior teacher with notable results that other teachers don't get?
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by mbarbier » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:58 pm

robcat2075 wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:51 pm
mbarbier wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:35 pm
La Rosa getting another job seems to point to the same issue that CIM was fine with until they couldn't be- if it gets students then they'll be ok with employing predators.
Was he a unique draw? Were people going to CIM because LaRosa taught there?

Clearly he is a fine player but is he a superior teacher with notable results that other teachers don't get?
several of the very excellent players who were previously studying with Steve Witser, who was a fucking a saint of a human, developed distonia after not very long periods of study with MLR (edit for clarity). Soooooo 🤷.

so i don't think so, but from a marketing perspective Principal Trombone of TCO has a lot of draw.
Last edited by mbarbier on Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:01 pm

mbarbier wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:58 pm


several of the very excellent players who were previously studying with Steve Witser, who was a fucking a saint of a human, developed distonia after not very long periods of study with him. Soooooo 🤷.
Him referring to MLR, not Steve, to clear that up.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by mbarbier » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:06 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:01 pm
mbarbier wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:58 pm


several of the very excellent players who were previously studying with Steve Witser, who was a fucking a saint of a human, developed distonia after not very long periods of study with him. Soooooo 🤷.
Him referring to MLR, not Steve, to clear that up.
YES! sorry for any lack of clarity. Steve was a great teacher.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by robcat2075 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:41 pm

Ah... pronoun trouble!
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by mbarbier » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:43 pm

robcat2075 wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:41 pm
Ah... pronoun trouble!
another reminder that just using names is always safest....
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another terrible example, was Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by GabrielRice » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:55 am

Posted by Abbie Conant on facebook:

About this time last year, an arbitrator named Richard Block reinstated Liang Wang and Matthew Muckey in the New York Phil after they were fired due to allegations of sexual assault the orchestra found to be credible. The ruling caused considerable controversy, if not outrage, in the classical music community. The lawyer that investigated the case for the New York Phil and recommended that Muckey and Wang be dismissed, Barbara Jones, has a stellar career and status in the legal community that stands in notable contrast to Richard Block’s who is far less known.

After the two musicians were forcibly reinstated due to Block’s ruling, the orchestra made the following statement: "In our opinion, the arbitrator failed to give appropriate weight to the events supporting the victims claims." The Philharmonic also quoted from Block’s ruling which says that “nothing in this opinion should be read as concluding that all doubt has been removed concerning the actions” of Mr. Wang and Mr. Muckey. As in so many cases of alleged sexual assault, the victims are often at a great disadvantage because these events usually happen without witnesses. Investigations thus remain difficult, if not impossible, which serves the interests of the alleged perpetrators.

This was reflected in the orchestra’s deeply troubled statement (emphasis mine) when it added: “We are profoundly disappointed by the arbitrator’s decision. While we obviously disagree with the arbitrator and *stand by our original actions and decisions in this matter,* we will, as we must, abide by the arbitrator’s ruling and reinstate both players.” The bitterness could not be more obvious.

For the few who might not already know, a woman trombonist who stood in solidarity with the allegedly drug raped colleague was also dismissed from the orchestra after her trial year in a vote in which the entire brass section participated. (I do not know the vote count.) She quickly obtained another excellent position in a top US orchestra--and against fierce competition--which to my mind casts doubt on the motives for her dismissal.
Ironically, Richard Block specializes in arbitration for the NFL. Why someone with that background was chosen to arbitrate a case involving an alleged drug rape in an arts organization and where half the employees are women is beyond me. To add to the ironies, he also spent 20 years working as a magician on cruise ships, and continues a double career as a lawyer and as a prestidigitating clown named “Lefty.” (Or at least that would seem to be his clown name judging by the photo below.) Given the severe damage I feel his ruling has caused the NY Phil and women musicians, it is difficult for me to overlook his background, and especially how it compares to Barbara Jones.

In 1995, President Clinton appointed Jones as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York where she served for 16 years. She presided over a diverse range of difficult cases such as high-level corporate securities fraud, government corruption involving New York City contracts, labor racketeering, and terrorism. In May 2010, Judge Jones was appointed by the Chief Justice of US Supreme Court, John Roberts, to serve on the seven-member Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in the Northeastern USA, one of the most challenging regions for judges in the country.

Before her appointment to the Federal Courts, she was Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York, where she served as the chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force Unit dealing with some of the most violent and powerful mafia families in the USA. She has also taught law at Fordham and NYU.

It is especially notable that Barbara Jones was appointed to chair the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, created by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, aimed at assessing the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of sexual assaults in the military. The panel issued a report to Congress in June 2014 with 132 recommendations to the Department of Defense. The massive numbers of sexual assaults and rapes in the US military has been one of the most devastating and challenging problems faced by American society. Her work has helped to alleviate this ongoing problem.

Given her background, it is troubling that her determinations in the New York Phil case were overruled by a little known arbitrator specializing on the masculinist world of the NFL. That he works on the side as a prestidigitating clown apparently named “Lefty” doesn’t help too much. Even the most biased observers would have to admit that the contrasts with Barbara Jones could hardly be greater.

If I recall correctly, union local 802 in New York which serves the musicians of the NY Phil, requires arbitration in labor disputes. Perhaps it is worth noting that the firm that Mathew Muckey’s lawyer works for specializes in sports law. I’m guessing that Muckey’s lawyers were familiar with Richard Block, proposed him as the arbitrator, and the New York Phil agreed. If so, I feel this was a serious and obvious error that should have, and could have, been avoided. (On the other hand, it’s possible that the two sides could not agree on an arbitrator and that Block was appointed by the court in spite of what seems to me his unsuitability and possible conflicts of interest in such a case.)

Also troubling to me is that the alleged victim and the woman who stood in solidarity with her seem to be gagged by some sort of NDA, a situation imposed on so many victims of sexual violence and those who actively oppose it.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Bach5G » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:57 am

“ After the two musicians were forcibly reinstated due to Block’s ruling, the orchestra made the following statement ...”

Forcibly? I suspect not.


“ Given her background, it is troubling that her determinations in the New York Phil case were overruled by a little known arbitrator specializing on the masculinist world of the NFL. That he works on the side as a prestidigitating clown apparently named “Lefty” doesn’t help too much.”

Masculinist?

I don’t really know where Ms. Conant* gets off smearing Mr. Block’s professional reputation. It seems enough for her that he is a man and that he provided a decision that she disagrees with. Would the result have been different had it been decided by a well-known arbitrator? A well-known woman lawyer? Who knows?

I doubt Mr. Block’s after hours hobby is relevant to the discussion. But I suppose it serves the purpose of ridiculing a respected arbitrator who has made a decision with which one disagrees. I doubt Mr. Block’s critics, including Ms. Conant, heard the evidence that was presented or the submissions that were made or considered the relevant body of law.

* I am assuming all of GLR’s post quotes Ms. Conant.
Last edited by Bach5G on Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by robcat2075 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:22 am

Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:57 am
Forcibly? I suspect not.
Forcibly... as in against their will. As in no legal option remaining to terminate the two men's employment.

I suppose the NYP could pay them off to leave, al la the Met and James Levine.

Or pay someone to whack them. It is New York. :shuffle:
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Bach5G » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:33 am

My MW says: Adverb. Using force or violence. Also, convincingly, as in arguing forcibly

But, it’s MW. What do they know?

In this case, it appears that the Orch was legally required to reinstate the musicians.

I acted as counsel in a few arbitrations when I lawyered. It’s an interesting and, I think, in many instances, fairer process than litigation.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Peacemate » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:56 am

Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:33 am
My MW says: Adverb. Using force or violence. Also, convincingly, as in arguing forcibly
Arguably legal force is also force.

It's the same as saying someone was forced to resign. Very low likelihood that someone stood beside them and hit them in the face until they agreed. Termination of employment isn't violence or "force" either, so it isn't threat of violence or "force".

Forcing someone to do something just means that they have to do that or face consequences. In this particular case, it would probably be litigation.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Bach5G » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:28 am

Thanks, but I will go with MW on this.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Peacemate » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:53 am

Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:33 am
My MW says: Adverb. Using force or violence. Also, convincingly, as in arguing forcibly

But, it’s MW. What do they know?
My online dictionary lists "force" (noun) as:
1. Physical power or strength possessed by a living being:
He used all his force in opening the window.

2. Strength or power exerted upon an object; physical coercion; violence:
to use force to open the window; to use force on a person.

3. Strength; energy; power; intensity:
a personality of great force.

To be even more pedantic "power" (noun) is defined as
1. Ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something

2. Political or national strength:
the balance of power in Europe


I want to point out that the ability to use a dictionary isn't an argument. If you want to make an argument against someone please don't point towards their use of language. It isn't helpful or convincing.

So yes, go with your MW on this.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by robcat2075 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:56 am

The MW online offers this...
2 : to compel by physical, moral, or intellectual means
3 : to make or cause especially through natural or logical necessity
//forced to admit my error
//the last minute goal forced overtime
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/force


Is it really reasonable to suggest the Conant op-ed is dishonest because she has used a broader meaning of the word rather than the first one in the dictionary?

On a related note, there is an opera-related sexual harassment scandal in Switzerland currently.

This TV report wasn't taking any chances on revealing this guy's identity...

SwissTV.jpg
SwissTV.jpg (39.33 KiB) Viewed 427 times
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by spencercarran » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:12 pm

Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:33 am
My MW says: Adverb. Using force or violence. Also, convincingly, as in arguing forcibly

But, it’s MW. What do they know?

In this case, it appears that the Orch was legally required to reinstate the musicians.

I acted as counsel in a few arbitrations when I lawyered. It’s an interesting and, I think, in many instances, fairer process than litigation.
You're clearly just being deliberately stupid here, which I suppose is a type of strategy for a lawyer :roll:
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Bach5G » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:31 pm

Spencer, Spencer, Spencer.

I’m not being “stupid”. I take issue with the use of the word “forcibly” when what appears to have happened is that a labour arbitrator determined that the employer was not entitled to terminate the musicians’ employment. Now you can argue that “forcibly” can include by “force of law” and I’m sure that is what Ms. C meant. But “forcibly” has a nice rhetorical flourish and, I think, was intended to support Ms. C’s contention that the arbitrator was incompetent or biased by toxic masculinity.

Really Spencer, calling people “stupid” is not a particularly mature or well reasoned response. You’re a 31 year old scientist. I think you’re capable of more than that. But I understand that people get triggered.

As far as these allegations against Mr. LaRosa are concerned, aren’t these very old news? I seem to recall reading about these several years ago. Hasn’t he long since been sent packing in disgrace?
Last edited by Bach5G on Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by GabrielRice » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:42 pm

Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:31 pm
Really Spencer, calling people “stupid” is not a particularly mature or well reasoned response. You’re a 31 year old scientist. I think you’re capable of more than that. But I understand that people get triggered.
Dismissing an entire argument because of one choice of adverb is not a particularly mature or well reasoned response either.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:42 pm

Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:31 pm
But I understand that people get triggered.
Yikes. Is this really the argument you want to be making, on this thread?
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by GabrielRice » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:45 pm

And I happen to agree with you that Abbie's highlighting of Block's "extracurricular" interests in clowning and magic was unnecessary and possibly undermining of the very important points she is making elsewhere.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Bach5G » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:45 pm

“ Dismissing an entire argument because of one choice of adverb is not a particularly mature or well reasoned response either.”

And who did that Gabe? As you say subsequently:

“ And I happen to agree with you that Abbie's highlighting of Block's "extracurricular" interests in clowning and magic was unnecessary and possibly undermining of the very important points she is making elsewhere.”

There was, as you note, more to my submission than Ms. C’s use of a particular adverb.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by GabrielRice » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:54 pm

Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:45 pm
There was, as you note, more to my submission than Ms. C’s use of a particular adverb.
And you undermined your criticism by harping on an adverb.

In any case, it doesn't change the facts of the case or the systemic problems it highlights.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by spencercarran » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:09 pm

Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:31 pm
I think you’re capable of more than that.
There's what I'm capable of, and there's as much effort as I'm inclined to put in with someone who isn't engaging in good faith. It's not worth anyone's time to get bogged down in an argument over parsing the exact meaning of one adverb. Sure, you're wrong about the meaning of "forcibly," but that isn't really the point so much as distracting attention from the substance of Abbie Conant's post.
Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:31 pm
As far as these allegations against Mr. LaRosa are concerned, aren’t these very old news? I seem to recall reading about these several years ago. Hasn’t he long since been sent packing in disgrace?
You are literate, yes? Scroll back to the top of the thread and read.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by LeTromboniste » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:17 pm

Bach5G wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:31 pm
As far as these allegations against Mr. LaRosa are concerned, aren’t these very old news? I seem to recall reading about these several years ago. Hasn’t he long since been sent packing in disgrace?
Well, less time has elapsed since his being "sent packing" than had between his actions first being reported in the press and his facing any kind of consequence.

Given that he was just appointed 2 weeks ago to a teaching position despite his record of sexually assaulting students, it's very much not old news and quite actual.
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Re: Massimo La Rosa

Post by Bach5G » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:51 pm

I did scroll back to the top and this is what I found from Max:

“ Nothing new here, but important that people know about that...”

The professional music world is pretty small. Surely, it would be aware of Mr. LaRosa’s reputation? If he has a new gig in Italy, I’d expect the new employer would be aware of that. Do some think that Mr. LaRosa should never work as a trombonist/teacher ever again?

However, when I scrolled back, I found there was no mention of Mr. LaRosa in Ms. Conant’s Facebook posting. That posting was about Mr. Block’s reinstatement of Messrs. Wiang and Muckey. And that was the post I was commenting on.

I also reviewed some stories from various sources, including the NPR, that said the details of the alleged misconduct were not disclosed, that Messrs Wiang and Muckey denied the allegations, and that Mr. Block, after an arbitration lasting 8 months, found the Orch was not justified in terminating the musicians. The arbitrator would have had the investigation report before him. Presumably he knows something about employment law. And he did hear the witnesses and their lawyers’ submissions. Maybe Mr. Block got it right and Ms. C is off base here?

I did find a story that Mr. LaRosa sued Ms. C and her husband for defamation. I wonder how that’s going.
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