In 2014, an extremely promising young clarinetist in Canada beat dozens of other applicants to become one of two people awarded a full scholarship to complete a degree at Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles under highly esteemed teacher Yehuda Gilad.
But Eric Abramovitz never saw the acceptance email because then-girlfriend Jennifer Lee, a fellow music student, was spying on his account and saw it first, a court heard this week.
According to Abramovitz’s lawsuit, Lee, fearing she would lose him if he moved away from Montreal, posed as Abramovitz to send an email declining the offer, the Montreal Gazette reports. After deleting the original email, she then allegedly set up a fake email account in Gilad’s name and sent a rejection notice to Abramovitz, who was sharing her apartment at the time.
Abramovitz—who finished his degree in Montreal but split up with Lee later in 2014 for unrelated reasons—ended up studying part-time under Gilad two years later and discovered the deception after the world-renowned teacher asked why he had rejected him.
The student realized Lee was to blame when he correctly guessed the password to the account that had sent him the fake rejection notice.
A judge in Ontario, calling Lee’s conduct “despicable,” awarded Abramovitz $266,000, CTV reports. The judge said the figure included damages for “the incompensable personal loss suffered by Mr. Abramovitz by having a closely held personal dream snatched from him by a person he trusted.”
Abramovitz’s career survived the setback: He joined the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and was recently appointed to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.