|James Levine had been expected to lead programs featuring works by Berlioz, Sibelius, and Ravel at Tanglewood in July. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press/File 2006)|
For recovering Levine, no coda at Tanglewood
He has led last concert as BSO director
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 yesterday, in a brief press release, the BSO confirmed what many had suspected: Levine has led his last concert as the orchestra’s music director.
The statement announcing he would not 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 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 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. The BSO received 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. Levine 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 can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.