James Levine, students, festivals

ttf_harrison.t.reed
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Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:53 am

See, why would he be "known to have assaulted" a student if it actually isn't known that he did that? Seems like that would be why he'd press charges for defamation of character. He's not convicted or charged with anything, but people keep bringing it up on social media. If Abbie didn't mention his name in her post, however, it seems like a hell of a dumb move to sue her.
ttf_robcat2075
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Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:15 am

Quote from: bonesmarsh on Dec 24, 2017, 07:19AMAny artist with endorsements will be obligated to defend their reputation legally.

What would happen if a Yamaha artist appeared to be defamed ?

My understanding is that a "Yamaha Artist" doesn't actually make any money from being one.  It's more about the mutual glow of being associated with each other. Right?
ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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James Levine, students, festivals

Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:59 am

Quote from: harrison.t.reed on Dec 24, 2017, 09:53AMSee, why would he be "known to have assaulted" a student if it actually isn't known that he did that? Seems like that would be why he'd press charges for defamation of character. He's not convicted or charged with anything, but people keep bringing it up on social media. If Abbie didn't mention his name in her post, however, it seems like a hell of a dumb move to sue her.

Well there was a university police case opened, and if I remember well he was pushed out of or resigned his seat on the ITA Board because of it back then (I can't find the article or post anymore where I had read that years ago though). The story was also mentioned in news articles, and the one known victim interviewed about it. I thought it was pretty much common knowledge, maybe it isn't as widely known as I thought and he's trying to avoid it becoming widely known. I still think suing people is a strange move if your goal is to avoid people talking about it, especially years after it sarted (Abbie Conant's husband was already talking about it publically years ago, why the suit now and not then?). Denying rumors usually only fuels them. So I don't see what outcomes constitutes a win for him here in terms of PR/reputation. Of course there's always the money if he wins the suit.
ttf_Ellrod
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Post by ttf_Ellrod » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:21 am

Quote from: Doug Elliott on Dec 24, 2017, 08:12AMThat would go for an orchestra or school also.  What makes this interesting is that it's a civil case between the accused and a messenger, not a victim.  It seems to me the statute of limitations and other factors would potentially apply very differently, but I don't know anything about the law.

What fundamentally changes is the onus and burden of proof. LaRosa has to prove that it is more likely than not that the statements damaged his reputation (maybe just that the statements were capable of damaging his reputation). He doesn’t have to disprove the statements themselves. Conant might have to show that the statements were true or alternatively some sort of privilege attaches to them, for example, a warning to students. Depending on what she said, if a reasonable person knew she was talking about him, it might not be all that important that she didn’t identify him by name.

Still, your point is a good one MB. Why open this Pandora’s Box?

I’m sure the lawyers will get most of the money.


ttf_robcat2075
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Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:27 am

"Truth is an absolute defense against libel" they say.

You can't win a libel suit on the basis of damaging true statements, can you?  Image
ttf_Ellrod
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Post by ttf_Ellrod » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:36 am

Truth is a defence, yes. But who has to prove that (onus of proof)?* No charges, let alone a conviction. Will Conant have to investigate these specific circumstances and get the complainant to cooperate (first question on cross: is it correct that police investigated and no charges were ever laid?), keeping in mind that the rumours of other incidents are likely inadmissible?

My view only of course. There are other law types on this forum who may have other opinions.


* Answer: Conant.
ttf_blast
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James Levine, students, festivals

Post by ttf_blast » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:10 pm

Can I warn everyone that this is a public place and many pro players lurk here. Lawsuits could be brought and gossip is rarely a nice thing.

Chris Stearn
ttf_harrison.t.reed
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James Levine, students, festivals

Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:12 pm

Innocent until proven guilty. Is that a thing any longer?
ttf_MrPillow
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Post by ttf_MrPillow » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:18 pm

In a criminal trial it stands. The Trombone Forum is not a courtroom.
ttf_Ellrod
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Post by ttf_Ellrod » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:29 pm

Quote from: harrison.t.reed on Dec 24, 2017, 01:12PMInnocent until proven guilty. Is that a thing any longer?

Guilt/innocence not really the issue in a civil case.
ttf_BGuttman
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Post by ttf_BGuttman » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:19 pm

My problem with what's happening now is that an accusation of sexual misconduct on a man is a scarlet letter that can never be erased.  The mark of Cain.  Even if proven to be untrue.  And you can never be considered to have changed, regardless of how blame-free you are after the incident.  This isn't fair (goes for Roy Moore, too).

Remember, a single accusation could be someone with an ax to grind against the accusee.  I would expect more than one accuser to be an indication that a particular person is a sexual predator.

I should point out that Massimo LaRosa is a member of the Forum.  I believe Abby Conant's close friend is also a member (I don't think she is).
ttf_bonesmarsh
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Post by ttf_bonesmarsh » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:38 pm

Chris,

Well then, a Merry Christmas to you, and yours, Ralph Sauer.
ttf_Ellrod
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Post by ttf_Ellrod » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:13 pm

“My problem with what's happening now is that an accusation of sexual misconduct on a man is a scarlet letter that can never be erased.”

I don’t know if we’ve come that far yet. Trump is still president after all.

And Bonesmarsh: What the ...? Hittin’ the hard stuff a little early are we?
ttf_robcat2075
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Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:15 pm

One prominent trombone player is suing another prominent trombone player... that is going to get talked about among trombone players.

Here is a primer on online defamation



I predict this will not go to trial. It will get settled for a lesser amount or dropped in exchange for some public recantation.
ttf_sonicsilver
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Post by ttf_sonicsilver » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:17 pm

Quote from: BGuttman on Dec 24, 2017, 02:19PMMy problem with what's happening now is that an accusation of sexual misconduct on a man is a scarlet letter that can never be erased.  The mark of Cain.  Even if proven to be untrue.  And you can never be considered to have changed, regardless of how blame-free you are after the incident.  This isn't fair (goes for Roy Moore, too).

Remember, a single accusation could be someone with an ax to grind against the accusee.

I totally agree. Most of the recent fingerpointing looks very like professional or political assassination. The accusations leave a bad taint and often can't realistically be challenged or defended against.

It's disappointing that some posters here can't or don't differentiate between Massimo la Rosa having been accused of groping someone, and him actually having done so. The former might be common knowledge (although it was new to me) but the latter is absolutely not established as a matter of factual record.

On a personal note, I took part in several youth orchestras and bands throughout my school and college years. Total number of fellow musicians must be several thousand. Not only did no one ever molest me or try to, but I never even heard any gossip about anything like that happening to anyone. There were, however, plenty of examples of under-skilled female musicians - how should I put it? - climbing the greasy pole. So I call BS on this epidemic of sexual abuse all over the music world. The stories are completely irreconcilable with my extensive personal experience.
ttf_Ellrod
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Post by ttf_Ellrod » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:19 pm

My last comment on this: English and American defamation law is quite different. English law protects His Lordship’s reputation. American law protects the rabble rouser’s free speech.

Merry Christmas everyone.
ttf_harrison.t.reed
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Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:23 pm

Quote from: sonicsilver on Dec 24, 2017, 03:17PM
On a personal note, I took part in several youth orchestras and bands throughout my school and college years. Total number of fellow musicians must be several thousand. Not only did no one ever molest me or try to, but I never even heard any gossip about anything like that happening to anyone. There were, however, plenty of examples of under-skilled female musicians - how should I put it? - climbing the greasy pole. So I call BS on this epidemic of sexual abuse all over the music world. The stories are completely irreconcilable with my extensive personal experience.

This is also a gross comment. Just more he said she said.

I agree with Bruce, and that's the point I was trying to make -- sure, side with the victim, but only so much as to make a fair and just investigation of their case. Don't just assume guilt.
ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:31 pm

Quote from: harrison.t.reed on Dec 24, 2017, 01:12PMInnocent until proven guilty. Is that a thing any longer?
Quote from: MrPillow on Dec 24, 2017, 01:18PMIn a criminal trial it stands. The Trombone Forum is not a courtroom.

Exactly. Presumption of innocence is a judicial concept,and it only means the state can't give you a sentence until you've been given a fair trial and you have been proven guilty within that trial.

It applies in no way to public opinion, and doesn't protect you from being fired or asked to resign. An employer is well within its right to fire you long before you've been proven guilty of anything, as they are obligated to protect their company/brand/organization.

The judicial system, in particular with the Anglo-Saxon concept of proof beyond reasonable doubt, has proven highly ineffective at dealing with sexual abuse cases. Most sexual abuses are not committed by a random bad dude at knife point in a dark alley. Most are in grey areas where proving the absence of consent beyond reasonable doubt is extremely difficult. The victims know that, and they know the stigma they might face whether their abuser is found guilty or not, and they know how being "the ***** who ruined beloved star guy X" is not particularly good for their potential careers (especially, mind you, in a highly specialized field that is still very much a boys' club, such as  orchestral brass playing). They know how much energy and time it takes, and they know spending that amount of time or energy reliving their abuse is not necessarily super helpful in their process to move on from what happened to them, quite the contrary. Statistically, there are way, way, way more victims who get abused and don't report and/or whose accusation doesn't lead to charges and/or whose abuser is found not guilty despite having done it than there are false accusations.

So yeah, I choose to believe victims even when I don't know them and have never met them. If anything, because it honors the suffering of those several victims I do know and am friends with (while I don't personally know a single man who got got falsely accused).

And those saying accusations ruin the men's lives and put a permanent taint on their careers... Jeez. You can literally abuse kids for decades and still get within a percentage point of getting elected to the US Senate. Hell, you can claim to frequently commit sexual assault and be elected freaking president. You can get barred from teaching to certain students or at certain universities or schools or have restraining orders against you because of sexual misconduct and still be a principal player or conductor in a major symphony and have a solo career and earn 6 or 7 figure income. Maybe it would be healthy to check our privilege once in a while...
ttf_growlerbox
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Post by ttf_growlerbox » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:32 pm

Quote from: sonicsilver on Dec 24, 2017, 03:17PMThe stories are completely irreconcilable with my extensive personal experience.

The stories may not correspond with your experience, but they're hardly irreconcilable with it.
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Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:40 pm

Quote from: sonicsilver on Dec 24, 2017, 03:17PMOn a personal note, I took part in several youth orchestras and bands throughout my school and college years. Total number of fellow musicians must be several thousand. Not only did no one ever molest me or try to, but I never even heard any gossip about anything like that happening to anyone.

Fortunate you!

I can tell you that when I was in college I heard not just gossip but first-hand accounts from female music students of teachers with too many hands. Lots of "posture" and "breathing" checks that the male students and the less-attractive female students didn't seem to need.

Another classmate of mine was very excited to get accepted to a graduate-level conducting program but after a few more contacts with the teacher he suspected there would be more than conducting he had to do for this degree and gave it up.

Some institutions do a great job of making sure that these situations don't happen.  Others just presume that talented artists are always responsible adults. Clearly a mistake.
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Post by ttf_sonicsilver » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:17 am

Quote from: growlerbox on Dec 24, 2017, 05:32PMThe stories may not correspond with your experience, but they're hardly irreconcilable with it.

Yes, irreconcilable. If it's true that sexual misbehaviour is so common in the music world, then I would expect to have seen some representation of that in my experience, which contains an ample sample size of musicians. Of course it's possible that all the musicians and teachers I've crossed paths with had no such incidents, but extremely unlikely given the claimed prevalence.

Still on a personal note, why hasn't anyone ever groped me? Am I repulsive? Oh, the trauma to my self-esteem from never having been the object of anyone's ill-considered lust! But seriously, there seems to be fewer women and male homosexuals among brass players compared to woodwinds and strings. Perhaps that's why. Or maybe it's something in my demeanour. I have absolutely nothing against anyone expressing sexual interest in me, however gauchely: it's a natural part of life and I'm free to accept or reject.

Were someone to make a genuine casting couch offer to me, again I'd be free to accept or reject. If the James Levine stories are true, yeah maybe I'd miss out on understudying for him - big deal. If I had a burning ambition to be an accomplished conductor, a sulking, horny James Levine would be a very minor obstacle. I'd make it my business to succeed with or without his help. But that self confidence comes from having put the work in to achieve a certain standard. I can understand how a younger, student musician might feel boxed into a corner, having not yet learned that musical accomplishment isn't within the gift of a patron, however powerful: it comes from you.

To end on a positive, that's why I remember very fondly the tutors I had who were encouraging and constructive and helped me to improve, not for any particular gain to themselves but because they gave a damn about me as a student and gave a damn about music.
ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:23 am

Quote from: sonicsilver on Dec 25, 2017, 03:17AMYes, irreconcilable. If it's true that sexual misbehaviour is so common in the music world

Not so much in the music world specifically as in the world in general I would say. The music world is not an exception, one way or the other.
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Post by ttf_MrPillow » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:35 am

Quote from: sonicsilver on Dec 25, 2017, 03:17AM But seriously, there seems to be fewer women and male homosexuals among brass players compared to woodwinds and strings. Perhaps that's why. Or maybe it's something in my demeanour.

If only those women and gays had just been straight men, all these problems would go away!
ttf_William Lang
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Post by ttf_William Lang » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:51 am

attitudes like yours hurt people.

Quote from: sonicsilver on Dec 25, 2017, 03:17AMYes, irreconcilable. If it's true that sexual misbehaviour is so common in the music world, then I would expect to have seen some representation of that in my experience, which contains an ample sample size of musicians. Of course it's possible that all the musicians and teachers I've crossed paths with had no such incidents, but extremely unlikely given the claimed prevalence.

Still on a personal note, why hasn't anyone ever groped me? Am I repulsive? Oh, the trauma to my self-esteem from never having been the object of anyone's ill-considered lust! But seriously, there seems to be fewer women and male homosexuals among brass players compared to woodwinds and strings. Perhaps that's why. Or maybe it's something in my demeanour. I have absolutely nothing against anyone expressing sexual interest in me, however gauchely: it's a natural part of life and I'm free to accept or reject.

Were someone to make a genuine casting couch offer to me, again I'd be free to accept or reject. If the James Levine stories are true, yeah maybe I'd miss out on understudying for him - big deal. If I had a burning ambition to be an accomplished conductor, a sulking, horny James Levine would be a very minor obstacle. I'd make it my business to succeed with or without his help. But that self confidence comes from having put the work in to achieve a certain standard. I can understand how a younger, student musician might feel boxed into a corner, having not yet learned that musical accomplishment isn't within the gift of a patron, however powerful: it comes from you.

To end on a positive, that's why I remember very fondly the tutors I had who were encouraging and constructive and helped me to improve, not for any particular gain to themselves but because they gave a damn about me as a student and gave a damn about music.

ttf_sonicsilver
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Post by ttf_sonicsilver » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:26 pm

Quote from: William Lang on Dec 25, 2017, 11:51AMattitudes like yours hurt people.
How's that, snowflake? Malevolent telekinesis?
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Post by ttf_sonicsilver » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:28 pm

Quote from: MrPillow on Dec 25, 2017, 10:35AMIf only those women and gays had just been straight men, all these problems would go away!

You've not seen Some Like It Hot then?
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Post by ttf_growlerbox » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:54 pm

Quote from: sonicsilver on Dec 25, 2017, 03:17AMYes, irreconcilable. If it's true that sexual misbehaviour is so common in the music world, then I would expect to have seen some representation of that in my experience, which contains an ample sample size of musicians. Of course it's possible that all the musicians and teachers I've crossed paths with had no such incidents, but extremely unlikely given the claimed prevalence.

Still on a personal note, why hasn't anyone ever groped me? Am I repulsive? Oh, the trauma to my self-esteem from never having been the object of anyone's ill-considered lust! But seriously, there seems to be fewer women and male homosexuals among brass players compared to woodwinds and strings. Perhaps that's why. Or maybe it's something in my demeanour. I have absolutely nothing against anyone expressing sexual interest in me, however gauchely: it's a natural part of life and I'm free to accept or reject.

Were someone to make a genuine casting couch offer to me, again I'd be free to accept or reject. If the James Levine stories are true, yeah maybe I'd miss out on understudying for him - big deal. If I had a burning ambition to be an accomplished conductor, a sulking, horny James Levine would be a very minor obstacle. I'd make it my business to succeed with or without his help. But that self confidence comes from having put the work in to achieve a certain standard. I can understand how a younger, student musician might feel boxed into a corner, having not yet learned that musical accomplishment isn't within the gift of a patron, however powerful: it comes from you.

To end on a positive, that's why I remember very fondly the tutors I had who were encouraging and constructive and helped me to improve, not for any particular gain to themselves but because they gave a damn about me as a student and gave a damn about music.

OK, so experiences that don't comport precisely with yours don't exist?  Now who's the snowflake?

I agree overall with the importance, perhaps the primacy, of personal responsibility, but achieving this is a process which these kids are often just beginning to undertake.  While they can perhaps be faulted for naivete and even delicacy resulting from a who-knows-what cocktail of overprotective parenting/schooling and predisposition, the kind of predatory behaviour on the part of conductors and mentors being reported here cannot legitimately be described as the mere expression of sexual interest, even assuming that such expressions could be considered appropriate under certain circumstances (and this is by no means a given).

Perhaps it is indeed your demeanour that protected you from both the advances of your tutors and the confidences of your less self-assured peers, and perhaps you feel it also somehow excuses you for sliding from a healthy skepticism into paltry cynicism.
ttf_William Lang
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Post by ttf_William Lang » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:00 pm

you come across as lacking empathy, and being very dissmissive of people who have been hurt. sexism and harrasment are real, and invalidating those feelings and truths is wrong. it's a worse world when we are encouraged to be "tough guys" and bury feelings.


Quote from: sonicsilver on Dec 25, 2017, 12:26PMHow's that, snowflake? Malevolent telekinesis?

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Post by ttf_BGuttman » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:12 pm

Quote from: sonicsilver on Dec 25, 2017, 12:28PMYou've not seen Some Like It Hot then?

Maybe you don't quite understand.  All girl bands were formed because men generally refused to give them significant positions.  The humor of the film is that two guys hiding out from the Mafia dress as women and join the band.  They aren't being predatory -- they are trying to hide.  It would be foolhardy for them to expose themselves as men.

The predatory behavior of men in power towards women (or men if they are homosexual) is something you really don't want to condone or encourage.  And it's been happening for a LONG time.
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Post by ttf_slide advantage » Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:38 pm

Earlier on in this post I shared my story of tales I heard about a private teacher of mine in jr high school and high school.

I stated that he never was inappropriate with me. So yes, I too could state that the stories I heard about this teacher are "completely irreconcilable with my extensive personal experience", but it doesn't make them any less true.

So I wouldn't even begin to dismiss the experiences of other students (the ones who were assaulted or propositioned).
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Post by ttf_paulyg » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:00 pm

Quote from: slide advantage on Dec 25, 2017, 05:38PMEarlier on in this post I shared my story of tales I heard about a private teacher of mine in jr high school and high school.

I stated that he never was inappropriate with me. So yes, I too could state that the stories I heard about this teacher are "completely irreconcilable with my extensive personal experience", but it doesn't make them any less true.

So I wouldn't even begin to dismiss the experiences of other students (the ones who were assaulted or propositioned).

This really gets to the core of how predators can operate for so long with impunity. By singling out victims they can hide behind that doubt/deniability for years. It also highlights the fact that maintaining a safe environment is everyone's responsibility (in the case of elementary/middle/high schoolers, the responsibility of the adults).
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Post by ttf_paulyg » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:00 pm

Quote from: slide advantage on Dec 25, 2017, 05:38PMEarlier on in this post I shared my story of tales I heard about a private teacher of mine in jr high school and high school.

I stated that he never was inappropriate with me. So yes, I too could state that the stories I heard about this teacher are "completely irreconcilable with my extensive personal experience", but it doesn't make them any less true.

So I wouldn't even begin to dismiss the experiences of other students (the ones who were assaulted or propositioned).

This really gets to the core of how predators can operate for so long with impunity. By singling out victims they can hide behind that doubt/deniability for years. It also highlights the fact that maintaining a safe environment is everyone's responsibility (in the case of elementary/middle/high schoolers, the responsibility of the adults).
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