- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2006

ROANOKE (AP) — A violinist who was tossed from a classical quartet six years ago will receive about $500,000 under a settlement that will cost two performers their home but spare their instruments.

David Ehrlich, who went to court to fight his dismissal from the Audubon Quartet, will receive the settlement from his former colleagues, if a bankruptcy judge approves the deal.

Mr. Ehrlich was dismissed from the quartet in 2000 because of artistic differences.

To satisfy the agreement, cellist Clyde T. Shaw and his wife, violist Doris Lederer, will give Mr. Ehrlich the proceeds from the sale of their home in Blacksburg, $200,000 from the sale of their instruments and bows, and $59,000 drawn from their retirement fund.

The two would have access to the instruments under a 10-year loan.

Violinist Akemi Takayama will pay Mr. Ehrlich $40,000.

The settlement was announced this week by lawyers representing the parties.

Under an earlier agreement, Mr. Shaw’s and Mrs. Lederer’s instruments were to be sold to settle a previous judgment. Howard Beck, representing the couple, had asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ross Krumm to allow his clients to keep their instruments under a “tools of the trade” exemption.

Daniel Braden, a Bethlehem, Pa., musician and collector, bought the instruments last month and arranged the loan of the instruments to the couple. He also gave them an undisclosed “shorter period” to buy them back.

Mr. Ehrlich filed the wrongful-dismissal lawsuit against his former colleagues, claiming he was dismissed unjustly and that he had a stake in the group’s name. A judge in Pennsylvania ruled in his favor in 2001, and the remaining Audubon musicians filed for bankruptcy.

Miss Takayama, in separate bankruptcy proceedings, argued that liquidation of her assets should not include her violin because the instrument is owned by her mother. Under terms of the settlement, she will keep the violin.

Since leaving the quartet, Mr. Ehrlich has operated a music school in Blacksburg. In 2004, he rejoined the faculty of Virginia Tech, where the Audubon had been in residence from 1979 to 2001.

Mr. Shaw and Mrs. Lederer now teach at Shenandoah University in Winchester. Miss Takayama is concertmaster of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.

They continue to perform as the Audubon with Ellen Jewett, a violinist who teaches at McGill University in Montreal.

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