Critic seeks to compel deposition by elusive Welser-Most in suit against Cleveland Orchestra and newspaper
Just before the start of the 2008-2009 season, distinguished music critic Don Rosenberg found himself was demoted by his paper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and barred from writing about the Cleveland Orchestra. Seems that the orchestra tired of Rosenberg’s negative assessment of that orchestra’s music director, Franz Welser-Most, and complained to the paper. The case caused quite a stir in the music world, especially among those of us in the critical profession.
In December, Rosenberg filed suit against his employer and the orchestra management. This week, his lawyer filed a motion seeking to compel Welser-Most’s deposition in the case. It turns out that the conductor has managed to be persistently unavailable. He has, however, offered a few hours on the morning of July 20, two weeks after the court-set deadline for depositions.
The motion asserts that Welser-Most “refuses to make any reasonable arrangement for his deposition testimony.” He “is entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration … but he is not entitled to be treated in some extraordinary and exquisite way.” The motion compares the conductor to “royalty” and “a prima donna,” and notes that “even President Clinton had to testify in a civil case while he was President.”