Citing ill health, Levine steps down as Boston Symphony’s music director

Posted on: March 3, 2011

“Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine, whose tenure has been marked by artistic highs but long absences due to health problems, will step down from his post at the end of the orchestra’s summer season in Tanglewood,” writes Geoff Edgers in Wednesday’s (3/2) Boston Globe. Mark Volpe, the BSO’s managing director, said the orchestra would begin a search for Levine’s successor immediately but that there was no timetable for hiring a new music director. “Before rehearsal yesterday [March 1], Volpe told the players of Levine’s decision. Even after watching the conductor struggle recently, cellist Owen Young held out hope that Levine would recover. ‘He’s one of the great, great maestros. And there’s always this optimistic sense from him, which is infectious. The news comes with sadness and with a hope that he will be able to fix these health issues and get better soon.’ … ‘It’s sad,’ Volpe said. ‘He’s one of the great conductors in the world. The orchestra’s in great shape, and he’s a terrific teacher. His health issues preclude him from doing what he wanted to do.’ ” Levine will continue in his post as music director at the Metropolitan Opera, according to Met general manager Peter Gelb.

Posted March 3, 2011