Judge grants peace order against Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Jonathan Carney

A district court judge has granted a temporary peace order against Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Jonathan Carney, according to court records.

District Court of Maryland Judge Catherine Chen ruled Monday that a peace order against Carney was enforceable after he allegedly threatened a Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra employee.


The complaint alleges that on Oct. 31 at about 8:30 p.m., Carney approached the employee in the lobby of the First English Lutheran Church in Baltimore’s Guilford neighborhood, where the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra had been rehearsing. In the court documents, the woman alleged Carney verbally attacked her.

“You have a lot of nerve coming here after what you did. You had no right to say what you said, and you will be hearing from my lawyer,” Carney said, according to the peace order application. “Your teacher … will never work again, and you will never see the light of day when I’m finished. Don’t even think about coming to the concert tomorrow night. I don’t want you there. I don’t want you anywhere near me.”


Chen ordered Carney not to threaten the petitioner, not to contact her, not to enter her residence, and to stay away from the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, according to court documents.

Carney has previously performed with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.

His attorney, Neil Ruther, said in a statement Friday the conversation between the woman and Carney stemmed from sexual harassment allegations made against Carney by Katherine Needleman, a BSO principal oboist who filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“Like anyone who has endured misrepresentations that caused harm to their reputation, he was emotional and had questions about why this individual would engage in such harmful behavior,” Ruther said in a statement.

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Needleman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

The woman who requested the peace order did not immediately respond to requests for comment by The Baltimore Sun. Neither did Carney, or Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra President Jeffrey Parker.

The BSO declined to comment.

The order is effective through Nov. 13, when another hearing for the final peace order is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.


The peace order came less than two months after Needleman’s complaint alleged Carney retaliated against her after she rejected his advances in 2005, and that the orchestra subsequently allowed a hostile work environment.

Peace orders differ from protective orders, which provide relief to victims of domestic abuse. Peace orders apply to victims of other types of abuse, including those who fear harassment, stalking, destruction of property and other harm.

Baltimore Sun reporter Tim Smith contributed to this article.