And Now a Teen Pianist Sues

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Ralph
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And Now a Teen Pianist Sues

Post by Ralph » Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:24 pm

Teen pianist sues music teacher over Carnegie Hall dispute
7/28/2005, 12:13 a.m. ET
The Associated Press

BRIDGETON, N.J. (AP) — A teenage pianist has sued a music teacher, claiming the woman confronted him on stage during a Carnegie Hall performance and slammed a piano keyboard cover on his fingers after they argued over what piece he would perform at the event.

Bryan O'Lone, 16, of Vineland, also claims that Yalena Ivanov publicly berated him during the Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey event, stripped him of a $350 prize he had earned at an earlier organization event and barred him from taking part in a trip to a musical festival in Italy.

The teen and his family are seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages and a public apology from Ivanov, who founded the YPCNJ.

The lawsuit, filed July 1 in state Superior Court in Cumberland County, also names Lana Ivanov, the teacher's daughter and director of the event, and the YPCNJ as defendants.

According to the suit, the incident stemmed from O'Lone's decision to play Chopin's Scherzo No. 2, a composition he had practiced for the performance.

When he arrived at the June 12 event, O'Lone said he learned that the program had him listed as performing another piece, Beethoven's "Pathetique." When he told Lana Ivanov about the discrepancy, she allegedly told him that he would have to perform the work by Beethoven.

"They said I had to play it and I was bewildered by the whole thing," O'Lone told The Press of Atlantic City for Thursday's editions. "What was the big deal? They change things like that all the time."

However, O'Lone said a recital judge told him he could play what he wanted, so he chose to play the Chopin work that he had practiced. After he had played a few notes of the piece, Yalena Ivanov came on stage and began accosting the youth in front of the crowd of about 300 people, according to the suit.

A man who answered the phone at the YPCNJ's offices refused to identify himself to the newspaper, but said the O'Lone family had distorted the facts of the incident and said that Carnegie Hall performances are routinely videotaped and a review of the videotape would vindicate the Ivanovs.

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Information from: The Press of Atlantic City, http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com
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