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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Phoenix Symphony Accused of Age Bias

PHOENIX (CN) - Its longtime principal cellist accuses the Phoenix Symphony of age discrimination. Richard Bock, principal cellist from 1984-2007, claims a member of the symphony board of directors complained in a meeting with musicians "that 8 musicians had filed age discrimination claims, and indicated that he considered the filing of those claims underhanded out of order, that it must stop and that punishment and termination of the musicians would be considered."

Bock says that threat was delivered by symphony board member and defendant Edwin Wolf. He also claims that during that Oct. 2, 2007 meeting, defendant Maryellen Gleason, also a symphony board member, "said she would go to her former employer, Q-West Communications, to obtain the telephone numbers of the complaining musicians."

Bock says he filed "a second discrimination charge against the symphony with the EEOC, claiming age discrimination and retaliation." On Jan. 14 this year, Bock says, he was fired and replaced with a younger, less experienced cellist.

Bock says he began his high-level professional career when he was 18, and Leopold Stokowski hired him as principal cellist for the American Symphony Orchestra.

He seeks punitive damages in Maricopa County Court. He is represented by Greg Clark.

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