Let the guessing games begin as to who will succeed James Levine to be the 15th music director of the BSO. Sir George Henschel was first, from 1881-1884. Serge Koussevitzky held the position the longest (1924-1949) until Seiji Ozawa came along in 1973 and remained until 2002.
Levine had the post for about seven years, one of the shorter tenures, but hardly the shortest. That belongs to Henri Raboud, who came on in 1918 and left in 1919.
The symphony says it will begin an immediate search for its next music director. Don't be surprised if these four (above, left to right: Michael Tilson Thomas, Robert Spano, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Chailly) are among the many names likely to surface as those discussions progress:
Michael Tilson Thomas, longtime music director of the San Francisco Symphony who filled in last summer at Tanglewood for Levine.
Robert Spano, the music director at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for about a decade.
Mariss Jansons, chief conductor of the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly, music director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
Photo credits (from left): Michael J. Lutch, Michael J. Lutch, Hiroyuki Ito, and Richard Termine, all for the New York Times.