Baltimore Symphony suspends concertmaster

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has suspended without pay its concertmaster, Jonathan Carney, following allegations of harassment and threatening behavior.

One of the violinist’s accusers is Katherine Needleman, the BSO’s principal oboist, who formerly held the same post with the Richmond Symphony. Needleman filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding an incident with Carney that she says occurred in 2005.

A Maryland judge has issued a peace order (similar to a restraining order) following a complaint that Carney threatened a Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra musician following a rehearsal last month at a Baltimore church, the Baltimore Sun’s Sarah Meehan reports:

“After a comprehensive independent investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior towards another musician in our own orchestra, we made it clear to Jonathan Carney that we would not tolerate inappropriate behavior, whether verbal or physical,”  Peter Kjome, the orchestra’s president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “In our view, Mr. Carney was not forthcoming about this current allegation.”

Carney has not publicly responded to the charges. His attorney, Neil Ruther, says the violinist has “endured misrepresentations” about his behavior. “We are confident that once the facts are known the issue will be promptly resolved with the BSO,” Ruther told The Sun.


UPDATE (Nov. 16): A Maryland judge has denied the previously granted peace order against Carney, but his suspension from the Baltimore Symphony continues, The Sun’s Christina Tkacik reports:

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