An excerpt from the Montreal Gazette: In late 2013, Abramovitz applied for a full two-year scholarship to complete his bachelor’s degree at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Every student at Colburn receives a full scholarship, including tuition, room and board as well as money for meals and other expenses, worth roughly $50,000 a year.
If accepted, he would study under Yehuda Gilad, considered one of the best clarinet teachers on the planet. Gilad accepts two students a year out of dozens of applicants. To be chosen is virtually a guarantee of a high-paying symphony career directly out of college. After an exhaustive pre-screening process, Abramovitz flew to Los Angeles in February 2014 with his parents to do a live audition before Gilad and a committee of faculty members.
A month later, Colburn sent an email to Abramovitz. He had been chosen.
Except Abramovitz never got the email. Jennifer Lee, a fellow McGill music student and Abramovitz’s girlfriend at the time, did. They had started dating in September 2013, and within a month he was staying at her apartment almost full time. He trusted her. He let her use his laptop. He gave her his passwords.
Scared he would move away and perhaps no longer be in a relationship with her, Lee deleted the email. She sent the Colburn Conservatory of Music an email, pretending to be Abramovitz, refusing the offer because he would “be elsewhere.”
She sent Abramovitz an email pretending to be Yehuda Gilad, under a new address she apparently established herself, firstname.lastname@example.org, saying Abramovitz had not been accepted for a scholarship at Colburn. Writing as Gilad, she told Abramovitz he was offered a position to study at the University of Southern California with a scholarship of $5,000 a year. Annual tuition at USC is $51,000, a cost she knew Abramovitz could not afford.
Abramovitz was completely taken in. He lost his two-year scholarship opportunity to study with Gilad. He completed his studies at McGill, and then did a two-year certificate program at USC, not on scholarship, where he got to study part-time under Gilad.