Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor Receives 8-Concert Suspension For Using Corked Baton

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BOSTON—An investigation into the musician’s suspiciously powerful work concluded Tuesday as Boston Philharmonic Orchestra conductor William Ness reportedly received an eight-concert suspension for using a corked baton. “We have a zero-tolerance policy against cheating, and Mr. Ness knew that, which is why we believe that a length suspension that will cause him to miss the summer concert series in the park is necessary to ensure we maintain integrity in our philharmonics,” said National Orchestra Association spokesperson Leonid Radzinsky, adding that Ness had been under investigation after an anonymous member of a competing orchestra alleged that the maestro’s baton sounded corked as it whirled through the air. “We’re disappointed that it had to come to an investigation, but Mr. Ness’ recent sharp increase in keeping the woodwinds coherent and controlling the volume of the timpani did raise some eyebrows. Normally you don’t see that much of a leap in precision unless the baton’s been tampered with to become lighter. We can’t end up in a situation where an audience member questions whether a conductor bringing in the cello section at the perfect time is due to skill alone or due to modifications that give them an unfair advantage. We need to ensure that the product we offer our fans is above suspicion.” The eight-concert suspension was reportedly the longest issued by the National Orchestra Association since Sacramento Philharmonic member Paul Vallis was suspended for the entirety of the 2003-04 concert season for rubbing pine tar on his tuba.