Friday, December 12, 2008

Back to Cleveland: The Plot Thickens

It had been posted yesterday, but I hadn’t found it because normally I don’t trawl through media and advertising sections: I look for music news sifting through “music” or “arts/entertainment.” Plus yesterday, I was also pretty much focused on one thing: the birthday celebration for Elliott Carter and 100 years of his music.

Laurence Vittes had e-mailed me a copy of the article he’d written for the December issue of the British magazine Gramophone, about the situation in Cleveland with the Plain Dealer’s critic, Donald Rosenberg (who also has written for the magazine in the past) and his having been “reassigned” by his editor, now no longer reviewing the Cleveland Orchestra. In his e-mail, Laurence casually mentioned “The latest, as you may know, is that Don is suing the Plain Dealer and the Orchestra!”

Actually, I hadn’t, but it would come as no surprise: from the beginning, this situation – whether it became a cause or a case – had litigation written all over it. It was close to midnight when I read his e-mail, too late for me, morning person that I have become, to go looking for news reports about it, but this morning I found these:

Here is a report from WCPN – and here is the New York Times article with more details.

For those of you who may need some back-story, you can read my earlier posts here and here, though the links to past reviews in the Plain Dealer no longer work.

As Vittes writes near the end of his article, commenting on the fact that Zachary Lewis who had now been assigned to cover the orchestra wasn’t exactly writing reviews-as-marketing-tools:

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“In fact, for the first three weeks of the season, Lewis has not been playing dead at all,” Rosenberg pointed out. “He’s confirming what I said, so they didn’t have to reassign me.” If anything, the fact that Lewis has been so negative lends credence to the newspaper’s claims that they had reasons other than orchestra pressure for replacing Rosenberg.

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Regardless, it looks like Laurence may have a follow-up article for a later issue.

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UPDATE 12/14/08: Thanks to Alex Ross for posting this link over at the New Yorker Blog where you can find the entire complaint filed against the Plain Dealer & the Cleveland Orchestra...

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