October 31, 2010; Source: New York Post | Martin Stoner’s complaints against Young Concert Artists, Inc., may be starting to grow old for the nonprofit group that helps launch the careers of budding musicians. But the 60-year-old violinist vows to fight on so he can play on. Stoner, who has been out of work since losing his job last year with the New York City Ballet’s orchestra, has already taken the group to court once for not letting him compete with 19- to 26-year-olds, for $75,000 in career and management support. Maybe they were just stringing him along, but the group did permit him to perform in its preliminary auditions last month with 277 others. But he wasn’t allowed to continue into the finals. Stoner, who played for the ballet for 25 years, claims that it’s not his artistic ability in question, but his age. He says that two of the competition’s three judges “wrote ‘age 60’ on their ballots and circled it,” according to the New York Post. In his filing in Manhattan Federal Court, Stoner sued to stop the semifinals so he could participate. The lawyer for the Young Concert Artists stopped the threat of an injunction by arguing that granting Stoner’s request would harm the performers who had made plans to travel to New York from out of the state. Stoner says he will continue to pursue his suit because he wants a job and doesn’t “have any other options.” He adds that “in the classical music world, if you begin at a late age, it works against you.”—Bruce Trachtenberg
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