Editor’s note: While it is already old news, I still wanted to acknowledge Maestro Levine’s resignation from the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
On March 2nd, James Levine announce that he will step down from his position as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The decision comes after chronic health issues prevented him from consistently leading the ensemble.
Levine will remain at the Metropolitan Opera, stating that his familiarity with the organization and the dynamic he has created there allow him to maintain his post despite health problems. Not only does he live in New York, but after 40 years with the Met, Levine has created a well oiled machine in which he is but the final cog. Comparatively, the burden of symphonic directorship in a new city requires more than he can commit to consistently provide.
Read the full article at the New York Times
Posts Tagged ‘James Levine’
Everyone Freaks Out
What might have been simply a guest-conducted performance of Mahler’s second symphony has since generated significant buzz as people speculate about the BSO’s future.
Michael Tilson Thomas conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra on opening night at Tanglewood, the orchestra’s summer residency in Lenox, Massachusetts. While The Boston Globe praised the performance, and astutely compared Levine’s and MTT’s vastly different Mahlers, other publications addressed the underlying suspicion that Levine will be directing fewer and fewer performances. View Full Article »
The Metropolitan Opera recently named Italian conductor Fabio Luisi its principal guest conductor—only the second time a conductor has held the title. Although the three year contract is unrelated to James Levine’s recent absences due to illness, Luisi will act as the go-to conductor for any future performances Levine may miss.
Maestro Luisi has periodically conducted at the Met since 2005, and was already scheduled to lead several performances next season. He is currently the chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and is scheduled to become the music director of the Zurich Opera in 2012. His post as principal guest conductor will both allow him to become more familiar with the company and its orchestra, and act as reassurance for the staff in the event of any further absences. Peter Gelb, The Met’s general manager, acknowledges that while Luisi has the expertise to succeed James Levine, that scenario is not yet a consideration. Neither Gelb, or Luisi have any anticipation of Levine stepping down, and assert that the Met can simply enjoy its newest resident Maestro.
via The New York Times.
Conducting Still Pain in the Neck
James Levine led the Boston Symphony Orchestra last week for the first time since his back surgery in the Fall. While Levine has been in New York for assorted performances at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera, his leadership at the BSO was absent for most of the season’s Fall performances. He presented his returning program, featuring works by Berlioz, Ravel, and Carter, in both Boston and New York. Perhaps fortuitously, the night before the BSO’s Carnegie Hall performance, Levine and the BSO won a Grammy for their recording of Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé.” For a complete review of the performance and a clip of the Grammy winning recording, see the NYT article here.
Maazel to lend a hand
Some unfortunate news for fans of the BSO and Metropolitan Opera: James Levine, who was scheduled to return to the podium last week, is now not expected to return until December.
In case you didn’t know, Levine recently underwent back surgery. An initial prognosis for no more than a handful of missed performances has now been amended into almost half his season. The surgery comes as the latest in a string of health problems for the Maestro, who had rotator cuff surgery in 2006, and had a cancerous cyst removed from a kidney in July of 2008.
Perhaps the most disappointed are fans of the BSO, who are in the midst of a complete cycle of the Beethoven Symphonies, all of which Levine has pulled out of. While some patrons may be content with the recent announcement that Lorin Maazel, former music director for the NY Philharmonic, will conduct at Symphony Hall between October 30 and November 7, it is of no doubt that many are feeling a sense of dismay.
View Full Article »
Lost In Sea of Get Well Soon Cards
James Levine, Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera, was set to conduct the opening concert at Carnegie Hall this season. However, he will not be seen on a podium for the next three weeks, as Maestro Levine will soon undergo back surgery to repair a herniated disk.
Although Levine will miss some high profile performances, such as the first performance of Tosca with The Met, the operation comes at a time when Mr. Levine had already canceled performances due to extreme back pain. According to his doctors, having the surgery will prevent further damage and hopefully allow him to return to his assorted posts quickly and with renewed vigor. Source: NY Times Music.