Cleveland Orchestra trombonist Massimo La Rosa suspended as part of sexual misconduct investigation

September 15, 2018

Cleveland Orchestra trombonist Massimo La Rosa suspended as part of sexual misconduct investigation

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cleveland Orchestra has suspended a second musician as part of its ongoing investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct.

On Saturday, the orchestra released a statement saying it has suspended principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa upon the recommendation of a special independent committee currently investigating allegations of sexual misconduct and “related issues” within the orchestra.

“There is nothing more important for our musicians and our staff than an environment where they can perform their duties without harassment or abuse,” read a statement by committee member David Hooker, former managing partner of Thompson Hine LLP. 

“We are proud to be regarded as one of the world’s great orchestras, and we want our all of our musicians and staff to be just as proud of how we treat one another and conduct ourselves as an organization.”

La Rosa’s suspension follows the suspension in July of Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster William Preucil, who has been publicly accused by a Nashville Symphony violinist of sexual misconduct in a Miami hotel room in 1998.

After those allegations and Preucil’s suspension, the orchestra formed a committee and retained the New York law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton LLP to investigate those and other potential instances of sexual misconduct by its members.

The orchestra offered no explanation of its suspension of La Rosa, principal trombonist since 2007 and a member of the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, saying only that its investigation is ongoing.

However, the suspension is not without context. Last December, The Plain Dealer reported that La Rosa filed a lawsuit seeking damages from a lecturer at the University of Iowa and a prominent trombonist claiming they defamed him by accusing him of “multiple sexual assaults on numerous college campuses [where La Rosa] had been invited to as a guest instructor.”

Efforts to reach La Rosa and his attorneys are ongoing. Check back here for updates as more information becomes available.

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