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New York Philharmonic Releases Statement Regarding Misconduct Allegations

The statement from the orchestra’s president and CEO addresses the accusations against oboist Liang Wang and trumpeter Matthew Muckey


On April 12, 2024, investigative reporter Sammy Sussman published an article in Vulture, a part of New York Magazine, outlining allegations of misconduct by Matthew Muckey and Liang Wang against former NY Philharmonic horn player, Cara Kizer, in 2010.

Muckey and Wang were fired from the NY Philharmonic in September 2018, after an independent investigation by a former federal judge. In 2020, the orchestra was forced to reinstate them with back pay when an arbitrator and their union decided they were “terminated without cause.”

Though the pair remain listed on NY Phil’s roster as associate principal trumpet and principal oboe, a spokesperson for the orchestra recently told The Violin Channel that a statement had been sent to the orchestra that read: “Please note that for the time being, Matthew Muckey and Liang Wang will not be at rehearsals or performances.”

A message from NY Phil’s president and CEO, Gary Ginstling, was recently posted on their Facebook page. It reads:

"Dear New York Philharmonic Community,

The details revealed in the New York magazine article are horrifying to me personally, and, while not yet a year into my tenure as President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic, I am deeply concerned about not only the specifics but broader issues of institutional culture. Therefore, I have taken the following immediate steps:

  1. At my direction, the Philharmonic has engaged Katya Jestin, co-managing partner of the law firm Jenner & Block, to launch an independent investigation into the culture of the New York Philharmonic in recent years. Katya has extensive experience handling sexual misconduct investigations and related matters involving extremely sensitive interviews. I am empowering Katya to look at everything and to leave no stone unturned, including any new allegations as they are reported. I pledge to share the recommendations with our board, our staff and our musicians as well as with the general public. More details on the process will be coming shortly.
  2. For the time being, musicians Matthew Muckey and Liang Wang are not being assigned to any Philharmonic activity as we work through this process, and a decision about their future with the New York Philharmonic will be made in due course.
  3. The New York Philharmonic is preparing to seek changes to its audition and tenure review policies and procedures to provide more transparency, oversight and equity to the process. We look forward to working with Local 802 and our musician colleagues on these changes.

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."


Since its release, Sussman’s Vulture article has prompted myriad responses and opinions from all sides of the industry; major composers, musicians, educators, and leaders, have signed a petition calling for the investigation to be reopened.

Ginstling recently told The New York Times that the report had “prompted a lot of strong feelings.” Reporter Javier C. Hernández writes that Ginstling declined to say “whether the orchestra would once again seek their termination.”

Additionally, Sara Cutler, Local 802’s president and executive director as of 2023, told Hernández that Muckey and Wang's suspensions “are good first steps but they can’t be the last.”

“As a woman, a musician and a new union president,” she said, “I am horrified by what was in the story and we are committing the full resources of Local 802 to erase the culture of complicity that has raged at the N.Y. Philharmonic for too long.”

The Violin Channel will provide ongoing coverage of the story.

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