Saturday, June 16, 2018

The clarinetist who dodged a bullet...

I just read an infuriating story on the New York Times.  Eric Ambramovitz, a gifted clarinet player from Canada, was just awarded $375,000 Canadian dollars from a lawsuit he filed against his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lee.  Why?  Because she crushed his dream and cost him two years of a promising music career.

In 2013, Ambramovitz and Lee were dating.  Both were music students and Abramovitz had dreams of studying under Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California.  But the manipulative and sneaky Ms. Lee did not want her beau of a few months to leave Canada.  So when Abramovitz received the rare, all expenses paid, highly prestigious acceptance to study under Gilad, who only takes on one or two new students per year, Lee intercepted the email, impersonated her ex boyfriend, and turned down the offer.  Then, she sent a fake email to Ambrovitz, indicating that he had not been accepted to study under Gilad at the conservatory.  Instead, he could attend the University of Southern California with a $5000 scholarship, which Lee knew would not be enough.  Abramovitz could not come up with the rest of the $50,000+ tuition charged at USC.

Lee and Ambramovitz eventually broke up and Ambramovitz finished his bachelor's degree in music at McGill University in Montreal.  Then in 2016, he traveled to Los Angeles to re-audition for Professor Gilad.  But Gilad was confused, because he remembered that Ambramovitz had already auditioned and turned down the chance to study with him.

It was at that point when Eric Ambramovitz came to the sickening realization that his ex girlfriend had committed some major league relationship fuckery.  He asked Mr. Gilad about the email he had received from “giladyehuda09”.  Gilad said that was not his email address.  At that point, Ambramovitz filed a police report.  Just an aside here, I'm not sure it would have occurred to me to file a police report if I had been victimized in this way, but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense.  What Ms. Lee did was akin to identity theft.

God, he can really play...  I listened to this and immediately got a lump in my throat.

Fortunately, Ambramovitz won acceptance to the University of Southern California, where Mr. Gilad also teaches.  He completed a two year certificate, not on scholarship, and studied under the professor part time.  Professor Gilad testified in court that Ambramovitz made excellent progress studying under him.  However, Ms. Lee's dishonest hijinks cost the gifted clarinetist two years of his career, as well as missed professional opportunities.  According to the article, 80 percent of clarinetists in North American orchestras consist of Gilad's former students.

Just breathtaking... 

Ms. Lee did not respond to the lawsuit and had no lawyer listed in the suit.  It's doubtful that Ambramovitz will ever see any of the money he was awarded.  He has, however, found success as a professional clarinetist.  He just got a job working for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra after having previously worked with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

A few things come to mind after having read about this case.  First off, I'm amazed that Ms. Lee had access to her ex boyfriend's email account.  I wonder why Ambramovitz wasn't able to log into some kind of school account to see what his admittance status was.  Seems like when I applied to graduate school at USC, I had an account that showed what documents I still needed to submit.  That was in 1999.  I guess that's not how they do things at all schools.  I see from another article (a much more complete one) that Ms. Lee also did the same thing with Mr. Abramovitz's successful application to Julliard.

I guess it just goes to show you that you can't trust anyone.  According to another article about this case, Ms. Lee moved fast.  Within a month of their first date, Ambramovitz was staying at her apartment almost full time.  He let her use his laptop and she obviously had access to his passwords.  Actually, if she's got cluster B tendencies, this makes perfect sense.  They tend to overwhelm their victims with whirlwind romances.  Then, once the poor victim is hooked, they turn into horrible people.  

I'm glad Ambramovitz broke up with that miserable bitch.  What an awful thing she did to him!  I hope karma kicks her ass.  But... at least he didn't marry her.  This kind of sabotaging behavior is what Bill experienced firsthand when he was married to his ex wife.  I liken being in a relationship with someone like that to being chained to a dead tree.  A dead tree might eventually rot enough so a victim can escape, but it could take years of soul crushing before that happens.

Bill suffered damage to his career, his relations with his family, and his finances before he was finally able to break away from his psycho cluster B ex.  While Ambramovitz's situation is heartbreaking on many levels, at least his story has a happy ending...  as does Bill's.  Not everyone is so lucky.


  1. I just read about this on CNN's site. The outcome could have been tragic. At least Abramovitz stuck with his music studies, although definitely on a slower track. I probably would have awarded him more than he got, though he may be lucky to collect on the settlement he received.

    While the clarinet is an easy instrument out of which to get basic notes, it's incredibly hard to get a good sound out of the instrument (almost on par with violin in that regard). High school clarinets almost universally suck, as do close to 90% of college clarinetists. This guy has serious talent. I'm glad the Cluster b Fuck-up didn't ruin his chances. Principal clarinetist with the Toronto Symphony is a respectable position, especially for his age.

    1. I actually played clarinet for awhile when I was a kid. I gave it up, though.

      His music seriously almost made me cry. It is so beautiful.

  2. It's really hard to tell the difference between the sound of an inexperienced clarinetist playing a toy clarinet (one of those things you can buy for $14.95 at Professor Toy) and the same person playing a real one. It's not quite as screechy as a novice violinist's sound, nor is it quite as pitchy, but the unpleasant sound persists for a lot longer. It takes real talent to achieve the sort of sound Abramovitz gets.

    1. I'm so glad he is going to be able to use his tremendous gifts. His story really could have been tragic.

      Bill languished for several years working in factories thanks to his crazy ex wife. If she'd had her way, he'd still be languishing in a factory, building refrigerator doors. He was cut out for so much more... so is Eric Abramovitz.


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