Pasadena Symphony Settles Lawsuit with David Lockington

By Francisco Salazar

Former music director of the Pasadena Symphony has settled his lawsuit which alleged he was unlawfully fired from his job in 2021.

Church of Christ, Scientist, member David Lockington’s lawsuit alleged wrongful termination, religious discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, and various state Labor Code violations.

According to the lawsuit, Lockington sought unspecified damages along with a court order directing that he be reinstated and given the proper religious accommodations.

According to the Pasadena Symphony’s lawyer, the case was settled but no terms were released.

Lockington was hired by the Pasadena Symphony Association in 2013 and according to the lawsuit his work “was characterized by consistent artistic success, which the defendants were happy to proclaim.”

Following the pandemic in May 2021, Lora Unger, the Pasadena Symphony Association’s CEO, noted that all Pasadena Symphony Association employees were required to have a coronavirus vaccination. Upon hearing this Lockington requested an exception due to religious and medical reasons and the orchestra said it was invalid because he was an independent contractor and not an employee. He was then released from his contract.

Lockington has conducted the Modesto Symphony, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony in Michigan and took the Grand Rapids orchestra to Carnegie Hall. He has also produced five recordings including one that was nominated for a Grammy.