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Disgraced Musicians Sue New York Philharmonic

By Michael Vincent on May 6, 2024

Matthew Muckey, associate principal trumpet, and Liang Wang, principal oboist, have taken their legal battle to federal court, filing lawsuits against the New York Philharmonic and their union, Local 802.

Their lawsuits, filed in the Southern District of New York, are based on sexual misconduct allegations that first emerged 14 years ago.

The two musicians were initially dismissed in 2018 following the misconduct allegations, but they were reinstated in 2020 after an arbitration favoured by Local 802. Despite this, an article published in New York Magazine reignited interest in the case, leading to their dismissal once again in April. The orchestra’s players’ committee has expressed solidarity with the alleged victims, emphasizing the importance of a safe workplace culture.

Muckey and Wang are now fighting to reclaim their positions, citing breach of contract, and are seeking unspecified damages. Steven Hyman, Muckey’s attorney, emphasized that the case has already been resolved and should be closed. Meanwhile, Wang’s lawyer, Alan Lewis, criticized the union for failing to support his client.

CEO Gary Ginstling reiterated the Philharmonic’s commitment in an email to members. “Nothing is more important than the culture of our orchestra and the safety of our musicians and staff, and it is only through this process that we will build the kind of vibrant and inclusive culture we all want.”

Watch this space as the story continues to develop.

Michael Vincent
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