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Thread: Ben Zander fired

  1. #1
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    Default Ben Zander fired

    Conductor Ben Zander is fired because of his professional association with a Level 2 Sex Offender.

    Witch-hunting is alive and well? Perhaps a lawsuit is warranted.

    Developing...

    http://articles.boston.com/2012-01-1...tory-officials

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    It probably wasn't the smartest thing for him to do, but those measures do seem draconian.

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Whatever happened to the good ol' days when you could conduct some Mendelssohn and then go back to your three lolitas for a siesta?

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    Thanks for the article. I'd heard of what happened, but not the details. Given that the offender had not committed any crimes for 20 years since being prisoned, the response of the conservatory seems to me to be completely out of proportion and is an example of how we stigmatise and deny second chances to people involved sex crimes (mind you, it's not just criminal activity - people who have worked in porn can have a hard time decades after they made their last film). Decisions like this should be the domain of our justice system, not moralising citizens.

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    It's obviously theater-of-the-absurd. "Neighborhood watch" taken to the extreme. Noone condoned the crime, but some prominent people in addition to Zander did condone giving the person another chance after time-served behind bars.

    "The connection between Zander and the videographer is established in publicly available criminal records. A 1993 sentencing memorandum refers to testimonials given on Benjamin’s behalf by Zander and several other prominent Bostonians, including the late Sarah Caldwell, the former director of the Opera Company of Boston, noted author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, as well as figures representing the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Red Sox."

    This case could/should be held up as positive happenstance. "All's well that ends well," would suffice.

    Noone should forget that sometimes things don't turn out so well...such as the late writer Norman Mailer's circumstance of vouching for a convicted murderer. The man was released, only to offend again.

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    It seems to me that Zander did nothing wrong. Boston is near Salem in Massachusetts. It appears the ""witch-hunters are alive and well". In 2010 the British Organist and Composer David Sanger committed suicide after being charged by a "concerned citizen" of sex crimes which occurred about 30 years previously and which he vehemently denied.
    Rob

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    I think it's basically a case of the music school putting Zander's head on a plate so to speak, for the public to see that they've done something about this situation. Even if nothing bad came of Zander's decision to hire the former sex offender, I'd guess the school is jittery about possible lawsuits against them by parents. Eg. saying Zander put their kids in potential danger by hiring Mr. Bejamin for the video work. I know the USA is the most litigation obsessed society on the planet. So Zander is the "fall guy" so to speak, the school is protecting it's legal backside, that's how I see it anyway.

    But about Maestro Zander, I have watched some lectures of his online and I think he's a good motivational speaker. Bringing classical music down to earth. & he also talked about history, things like Holocaust, nothing is taboo. Life is music, music is life, that kind of attitude, which I found refreshing. I think he was articulate and passionate about music and that matters a lot, imo...
    Last edited by Sid James; Jan-17-2012 at 04:20.

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    A more recent article from the Boston Globe...

    http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/01...xXJ/story.html

    Reading, I suspect first and foremost a power-play influenced by President Tony Woodcock. Secondly, student parent Bill McShane probably isn't far off the mark, when he says they were reacting to national concerns--maybe the Sandusky/Paterno Penn State incident that swept the nation in firestorm fashion. This could provide a back-up reason, should Zander decide to play hardball in the press.

    The videographer hasn't been heard from. Stay tuned.

    This school's got the publicity, it most certainly shouldn't have wanted.

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    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
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    Witch-hunt. Perhaps. But not smart PR on Zanders part, hiring a convicted paedophile

    In 1994, he pleaded guilty to raping a boy and lesser sexual abuse charges involving two other teens.
    to tape a youth orchestra.
    I can't play Debussy étude

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    I have experience of Tony Woodcock (how glad we were to export from the UK to the US where he could perpetrate his bad management away from home). Woodcock is not the most honourable person; his integrity cup does not floweth over. He was responsible for closing-down the Bournemouth Sinfonietta in 1999. The Sinfonietta was the chamber orchestra companion to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. It was a top-notch band of players and was able to give concerts in venues which were too small for a full symphony orchestra. One day in November 1999, the orchestra turned-up to rehearse for a week of concerts in the usual way only to be told that the orchestra no longer existed and that they (the musicians) were all redundant. No notice, no warning, NOTHING. Woodcock had already fled from the UK and left his successor (who knew nothing about the fiasco) to clear-up the mess.

    There is a hidden agenda here - Woodcock obviously wants rid of Zander for some reason and this was the obvious excuse. I admit that Zander was unwise to associate himself with this sex offender, but the person in question was a professional and legitimate film-maker. I doubt very much that the activities of a youth orchestra playing music is the thing that paedophiles' dreams are made of!

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I still can't understand how the videographer got this particular job even if he's no longer considered a danger to society - surely there is a US system similar to the UK's Criminal Records Bureau certification that prevents previous offenders being recruited for potentially sensitive placements?

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    @DM: people have weird fancies
    I can't play Debussy étude

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    Hmmm.... I am shoked by the story with Bournemouth Sinfonienietta even more then the current story...

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    Curious after DM's post, I've been tryng to learn more about NEC President Anthony "Tony" Woodcock. I must say most of the internet readings are quite impressive. But, if one looks closer, one sees many if not most of them consist of the same words. Verbatim, like from a CV.

    I did find some dissent, and different descriptions for Mr. Woodcock's lifelong work. One description was the nickname, Orchestra Doctor. I don't think this can be improved upon, and it's easy to see that he has nurtured this reputation of helping orchestras out of dire predicaments. And as any good career pathway stroller does, gathered influential supporters along the way.

    And like any good/bad politician, Mr. Woodcock has learned forked-tongue speaking well, as he moved from job to job. He prides himself on preaching his religion, and offers it freely at Tony's Blog. This blog had to be a certainty after his initial speech at NEC...

    “As I approach taking on the leadership of New England Conservatory, I am immensely grateful for the work of my predecessor Daniel Steiner and the interim leadership provided by Laurence Lesser. They have passed on to me a school blessed with many strengths--a faculty with extraordinary master teachers, enormously gifted students, a successfully completed strategic plan, and a nearly completed capital campaign--all of which create a strong foundation for the future. I am eager to expand on these accomplishments. I would like to see NEC recognized all over the world for the artistry it nurtures, the kind of musical laying on of hands that happens in its studios, the anointing of the next generation of musicians that takes place there."

    I found interesting his use of religious metaphor. I also wondered, from this week's furor, whether Mr. Woodcock who became a US citizen in 2009, had become a Tea Party enthusiast.

    His blog meanderings show no mercy in throwing people under the bus. Even whole orchestras!

    Related/telling material as follows. Friends of NEC, and Ben Zander's website.


    http://friendsofnec.tumblr.com/

    http://benjaminzander.com/news/

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  23. #15
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    Default The famous Seven Questions that Tony Woodcock won't answer

    Anyone seen this site?

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seven-...10399762336618

    Facebook page. Everyone should 'like' it and share it with as many people they know.. Lebrecht wrote excellent questions, and, as of now, there has been only silence.

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