New York Philharmonic Denies Allegation of Gender Bias in Hiring Violinists

Classic Arts News   New York Philharmonic Denies Allegation of Gender Bias in Hiring Violinists
The New York Philharmonic has denied, through a spokesman, the allegation of gender bias in a lawsuit filed by violinist Anton Polezhayev.

Polezhayev, who did not survive his probationary period with the orchestra and was asked to leave after the 2003-04 season, alleges that seven women were given tenure ahead of him, and is suing for damages and for reinstatement with the Philharmonic.

The Philharmonic says Polezhayev was dismissed for other reasons.

A statement from Philharmonic spokesman Eric Latzky said, "Anton Polezhayev has accomplished exactly one thing in filing this frivolous lawsuite—that is to insult the women members of all the sections of the New York Philharmonic by suggesting that the only reason they have their jobs is because of their gender. The members of the New York Philharmonic, women and men, won tenure by being the best musicians, the consummate professionals, and the ultimate colleagues. In short, they have it all. Clearly, Anton Polezhayev did not have it all."

In an article in the New York Times, Latzky added, "He had been warned and spoken to, I believe, on several occasions about his behavior."

Polezhayev could not be reached by the Times, but his lawyer, Lenard Leeds, denied that the violinist had been warned about his behavior, and said that there was no such warning in writing.

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