Arbitrator orders New York Philharmonic to reinstate two musicians alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct

Posted on: April 8, 2020

“The New York Philharmonic has been forced by an arbitrator to reinstate two players it fired over allegations of unspecified sexual misconduct, the orchestra said on Monday night,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Tuesday’s (4/7) New York Times. “The Philharmonic dismissed the players—its principal oboist, Liang Wang, and associate principal trumpet, Matthew Muckey—in September 2018. Both men denied wrongdoing, and the players’ union filed a grievance challenging their dismissals. The case was heard by an independent arbitrator, who found that the players had been terminated without just cause and should be reinstated…. No details of the allegations against Mr. Wang and Mr. Muckey have been provided.… In 2018 the orchestra retained Barbara S. Jones, an attorney at Bracewell and a former federal judge, to investigate. Following the investigation, the orchestra terminated the players.… The Philharmonic quoted from the ruling by the arbitrator, Richard Bloch, that ‘nothing in this opinion should be read as concluding that all doubt has been removed concerning the actions’ of Mr. Wang and Mr. Muckey. Alan S. Lewis, an attorney representing Mr. Wang, said in an email that … ‘Arbitrator Bloch concluded that the Philharmonic had simply failed to prove any misconduct by Liang.’ ”