Culture Desk - News, Reviews, Names & More
< Back to front page Text size +

James Levine cancels out of Tanglewood, skipping his last BSO appearances

Posted by Thomasine Berg  May 6, 2011 06:12 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

By Geoff Edgers
Globe Staff

As recently as this week, Boston Symphony Orchestra officials said they still hoped James Levine might finish his tenure by conducting at Tanglewood this summer. But on Friday, in a brief press release, the BSO confirmed what many suspected: Levine has led his last concert as the orchestra’s music director.

The statement announcing he wouldn’t appear at Tanglewood came a few minutes after a similar one from the Metropolitan Opera, where Levine has elected to remain as music director. Levine will miss the Met’s upcoming tour of Japan and its May 15 Carnegie Hall concert.

“Following his doctors’ advice, James Levine is taking the summer off to rest and recuperate from his ongoing back condition,” the Met release wrote.

The BSO declined to comment on the news other than to say that Mark Volpe, the orchestra’s managing director, was scheduled to meet with Levine next week. He still may go. The BSO got news of the cancellations in the early afternoon, the spokesman said.

In June, the BSO will release details on who will conduct the summer programs Levine had been scheduled to lead, including opening night on July 8, the Berlioz Requiem July 9, an all-Sibelius program July 16, an all-Ravel program July 24, and a concert featuring pianist Leon Fleisher slated for July 29.

This means Levine, 67, will officially leave his post Sept. 1 without taking the stage again. His exit will mark seven years of artistic highs but worsening health problems that kept him off stage and increasingly frustrated the BSO’s administration, players, and audience. With this week’s announcement, Levine will have conducted his last concert as BSO music director on Jan. 8, a program featuring Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex" and Bartok's "Bluebeard's Castle."

The BSO has launched a search for his successor, though no timetable for hiring a replacement has been announced, and the newly established search committee has yet to meet.

Geoff Edgers an be reached at gedgers@globe.com

  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.

About the blog

"Media Remix" is where couch potatoes meet pop culture criticism. What does Honey Boo Boo say about class issues in America ? Is The Real Housewives anti-feminist? Does Lady Gaga empower gay fans, or patronize them? And where'd I put the remote control? If you love knowing about the latest in movies, TV, music and social media - and analyzing the politics of The Apprentice - grab a seat with "Media Remix."

About this blog

Culture Desk is a blog that serves to highlight both local and national stories of interest in the worlds of art, music, movies, TV, theater and more. Most items are written by writers and editors from The Boston Globe arts and culture staff.

Submit a tip to the Culture Desk

Required
archives

A&E video

loading video... (please wait a moment)