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Rising clarinet star's ex-girlfriend must pay $375,000 for trying to sabotage his career Rising clarinet star's ex-girlfriend must pay $375,000 for trying to sabotage his career
(about 1 month later)
By the age of 20 Eric Abramovitz had become a fixture in Canada’s classical music competitions, winning radio features and solo performances for a number of orchestras.By the age of 20 Eric Abramovitz had become a fixture in Canada’s classical music competitions, winning radio features and solo performances for a number of orchestras.
So when the young clarinetist applied for a prestigious scholarship in Los Angeles to study under a renowned music instructor, he was surprised to receive a rejection letter.So when the young clarinetist applied for a prestigious scholarship in Los Angeles to study under a renowned music instructor, he was surprised to receive a rejection letter.
It wasn’t until two years later that he discovered the rejection – sent under the name of the famed instructor – had not come from the school, but instead from his girlfriend.It wasn’t until two years later that he discovered the rejection – sent under the name of the famed instructor – had not come from the school, but instead from his girlfriend.
Fearing he would leave Montreal for the new opportunity, she sabotaged his application, all while comforting him as he struggled to make sense of the rejection.Fearing he would leave Montreal for the new opportunity, she sabotaged his application, all while comforting him as he struggled to make sense of the rejection.
This week, an Ontario superior court judge ruled that Abramovitz’s former girlfriend, Jennifer Lee, should pay C$375,000 ($284,000) in compensation for “despicable interference” in a critically important career opportunity.This week, an Ontario superior court judge ruled that Abramovitz’s former girlfriend, Jennifer Lee, should pay C$375,000 ($284,000) in compensation for “despicable interference” in a critically important career opportunity.
“To find out it was the person who I had trusted the most and loved, was a simultaneous stab to the back and the heart,” Abramovitz told the Guardian.“To find out it was the person who I had trusted the most and loved, was a simultaneous stab to the back and the heart,” Abramovitz told the Guardian.
In his decision on Wednesday, the justice, David Corbett, admitted it was difficult to place a dollar amount on lost opportunity: “One hears, particularly in the arts, of the ‘big breaks’ that can launch a promising artist to a stratospheric career. I cannot speculate as to how high and how quickly Mr Abramovitz’s career might have soared, but for the interference by Ms Lee.”In his decision on Wednesday, the justice, David Corbett, admitted it was difficult to place a dollar amount on lost opportunity: “One hears, particularly in the arts, of the ‘big breaks’ that can launch a promising artist to a stratospheric career. I cannot speculate as to how high and how quickly Mr Abramovitz’s career might have soared, but for the interference by Ms Lee.”
He reached his final amount after examining forfeited tuition costs, living expenses and depressed earning power. Lee did not defend the claim against her.He reached his final amount after examining forfeited tuition costs, living expenses and depressed earning power. Lee did not defend the claim against her.
In 2014, Abramovitz and Lee met at McGill’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal, where the two students formed a romantic relationship. Abramovitz soon moved in with Lee, and trusted her with the password to his email account, according to court documents.In 2014, Abramovitz and Lee met at McGill’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal, where the two students formed a romantic relationship. Abramovitz soon moved in with Lee, and trusted her with the password to his email account, according to court documents.
Abramovitz applied for a highly selective scholarship that would allow him to complete the final two years of his undergraduate degree in Los Angeles.Abramovitz applied for a highly selective scholarship that would allow him to complete the final two years of his undergraduate degree in Los Angeles.
Winning the scholarship would not only fund the $51,000 tuition and living expenses at the prestigious Colburn Conservatory of Music, but would also let him study under Yehuda Gilad, an instructor Corbett called “one of the best clarinet teachers in the world”. Each year, Gilad only accepts two students from around the world.Winning the scholarship would not only fund the $51,000 tuition and living expenses at the prestigious Colburn Conservatory of Music, but would also let him study under Yehuda Gilad, an instructor Corbett called “one of the best clarinet teachers in the world”. Each year, Gilad only accepts two students from around the world.
To find out it was the person who I had trusted the most was a simultaneous stab to the back and the heartTo find out it was the person who I had trusted the most was a simultaneous stab to the back and the heart
When the Colburn Conservatory of Music emailed to congratulate him on his acceptance to the program, Abramovitz never received the email. Without his knowledge, Lee intercepted the correspondence after monitoring incoming emails. Fearing that her boyfriend would leave Montreal, she sent a reply in his name – and declined the school’s offer.When the Colburn Conservatory of Music emailed to congratulate him on his acceptance to the program, Abramovitz never received the email. Without his knowledge, Lee intercepted the correspondence after monitoring incoming emails. Fearing that her boyfriend would leave Montreal, she sent a reply in his name – and declined the school’s offer.
In order to maintain an illusion of credibility, Lee then created a fraudulent email account in Gilad’s name –giladyehuda09@gmail.com – and sent an email to Abramovitz, telling him that while he had not received a spot in the selective program, he had could still receive a much smaller scholarship of $5,000.In order to maintain an illusion of credibility, Lee then created a fraudulent email account in Gilad’s name –giladyehuda09@gmail.com – and sent an email to Abramovitz, telling him that while he had not received a spot in the selective program, he had could still receive a much smaller scholarship of $5,000.
Lee knew that Abramovitz would not be able to afford the hefty tuition costs fees nor the cost of living in California.Lee knew that Abramovitz would not be able to afford the hefty tuition costs fees nor the cost of living in California.
“It was a very crushing feeling. I was so driven and really wanted it. I was very disappointed about it and feeling down after I got the rejection,” said Abramovitz.“It was a very crushing feeling. I was so driven and really wanted it. I was very disappointed about it and feeling down after I got the rejection,” said Abramovitz.
It wasn’t until months later, in a separate audition with Gilad, where both student and teacher each asked why the other had rejected them, that the ruse slowly became evident.It wasn’t until months later, in a separate audition with Gilad, where both student and teacher each asked why the other had rejected them, that the ruse slowly became evident.
In May 2016, nearly two years after the rejection, Abramovitz and his friend tried an old password of Lee’s on the email account, which Gilad confirmed didn’t belong to him.In May 2016, nearly two years after the rejection, Abramovitz and his friend tried an old password of Lee’s on the email account, which Gilad confirmed didn’t belong to him.
Upon successfully gaining access, they discovered the recovery email and phone number belonged to Lee.Upon successfully gaining access, they discovered the recovery email and phone number belonged to Lee.
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The couple had parted ways in 2014, but when confronted with the evidence, she denied the allegations.The couple had parted ways in 2014, but when confronted with the evidence, she denied the allegations.
In a sworn affidavit, Gilad said that Abramovitz had been “robbed of his opportunity to study with me” and called Lee’s actions “unthinkable” and “immoral”.In a sworn affidavit, Gilad said that Abramovitz had been “robbed of his opportunity to study with me” and called Lee’s actions “unthinkable” and “immoral”.
Abramovitz eventually had the opportunity to study under Gilad at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, through a separate program that didn’t have funding from the school – nor the prestige of acceptance into the original program. In 2018, he joined the Nashville Symphony.Abramovitz eventually had the opportunity to study under Gilad at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, through a separate program that didn’t have funding from the school – nor the prestige of acceptance into the original program. In 2018, he joined the Nashville Symphony.
“Obviously, it’s a regrettable situation,” said Abramovitz. “But I still think that preparing as seriously and working hard elevated my level and improved my game. So it still wasn’t all lost.”“Obviously, it’s a regrettable situation,” said Abramovitz. “But I still think that preparing as seriously and working hard elevated my level and improved my game. So it still wasn’t all lost.”
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