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Cleveland Orchestra Suspends Star Musician After Student Sexual Assault Allegations

photo of William Preucil
The Cleveland Orchestra made the decision to suspend its lead musician, William Preucil, a day after a Washington Post article alleged he was involved in sexual misconduct.

The Cleveland Orchestra is suspending its concertmaster, William Preucil, a day after the Washington Post published a story in which the renowned violinist is accused of sexually assaulting his student in 1998. 

Preucil has been with the Cleveland Orchestra for more than two decades. As "concertmaster" he is essentially the orchestra's lead musician. Friday afternoon, the Orchestra announced Preucil would be suspended until further notice. 

The Cleveland Orchestra did not respond to a request for comment from Preucil himself. But the orchestra's executive director said the organization was not previously aware of the allegations and would be conducting an independent investigation.

Preucil also teaches violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In a written statement, the school's president said he's "deeply troubled" by the Post story but could not comment further on story-specific allegations. A CIM spokesperson said the school is reviewing the situation internally.