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James Levine To Leave Boston Symphony

Amidst serious health problems, lauded conductor James Levine announced that he will step down from his post as Music Director this fall.

James Levine conducting

Photo: Michael Lutch

James Levine, shown here conducting a 2007 concert, will continue as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera.

James Levine recently announced his plan to resign as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, effective September 1st of this year. Levine, who will remain in his post as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, cited continuing health problems as his reason for stepping down.

A torn rotator cuff after falling from the podium in 2006 was the first of a series of health issues that put Levine out of commission for months at a time. In his seven short years in Boston, however, he still managed to make a strong impression on audiences.

Much of his focus in Boston was on the future of classical music: spending summers working with young artists at Tanglewood and programming BSO concerts dedicated to living composers like Milton Babbitt and Elliott Carter.

Levine’s History

Levine came into the spotlight as a conductor when he was appointed Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera in 1976. He is often credited with turning the Met’s orchestra and chorus into the world-class ensembles they are today. Levine’s résumé also includes frequent guest appearances with the Chicago Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic, as well as arranging and conducting the music for Disney’s Fantasia 2000.

Although Boston will have a new Music Director this fall, Levine’s involvement with the symphony will not end here. Managing director Mark Volpe says that Levine will likely take on “a new role where he can focus solely on the music and defining artistically stimulating projects that would be meaningful to him and the orchestra.”

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Sam Callahan

Sam Callahan graduated from IU in 2013 with degrees in Trumpet Performance and Economics. He is now a student at Harvard Law School.

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