It appears that some dodgy fact-finding on the part of critic/writer Norman Lebrecht may have gotten him into trouble – his publisher has withdrawn all unsold copies (in the United Kingdom) of his most recent book on classical music and will have them destroyed. All as a result of a lawsuit brought by the owner/founder of Naxos Records, Klaus Heymann. Ouch.
From today’s New York Times article by Daniel J Wakin:
For years, the British critic Norman Lebrecht has been throwing firebombs in the world of classical music, denouncing what he sees as industry evils in a provocative style that has sometimes been described as accuracy-challenged.
On Thursday, in an unusually crushing act of contrition, his publisher agreed to recall his latest book, destroy it, say â€œSorryâ€ and promise not to do it again â€” all over a few pages discussing Naxos Records and its founder, Klaus Heymann.
The book, â€œMaestros, Masterpieces & Madness: The Secret Life and Shameful Death of the Classical Record Industry,â€ was released in Britain in July. Mr. Heymann sued the publisher, Penguin Books, in the High Court of Justice, saying the book wrongly accused him of â€œserious business malpracticesâ€ based on false statements. He cited at least 15 statements he called inaccurate.
In a settlement with Mr. Heymann, Penguin issued a statement in court saying it apologized for â€œthe hurt and damage which he has suffered.â€ It agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for legal fees and to a charity. â€œPenguin Books has also undertaken not to repeat these allegations and to seek the return of all unsold copies of the book,â€ the statement said.