James Levine to Return to the Podium July 7

Classic Arts News   James Levine to Return to the Podium July 7
James Levine will conduct the Boston Symphony on July 7, the opening night of the Tanglewood Festival, in his first performance since he injured his shoulder on March 1, Levine and the BSO confirmed today.

Levine, the music director of the BSO and the Metropolitan Opera, tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder when he fell leaving the stage after a BSO concert on March 1. He underwent surgery in New York on March 20, and missed a BSO tour, the remainder of the Met season and the Met's current tour to Japan.

In interviews after the injury, Levine said that he would use the time off to make permanent changes in his health. He is overweight and has suffered from sciatica and other health problems that have forced him to conduct sitting down for several years.

"I'm thrilled to be back," Levine said in a statement released today. "In retrospect, I'm also very happy with the unexpected opportunity this accident provided me to focus on my health in a way I've never had time to do before. I'm feeling better than I ever have, and as a result, I'm even more excited to be making music again, with a renewed sense of energy and anticipation."

As it happens, the program for the July 7 concert is the same as the program that Levine led on March 1: Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The latter will feature soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, mezzo-soprano Wendy White, tenor Clifton Forbis and bass-baritone John Relyea, as well as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus led by John Oliver.

Levine's four-month break from the podium is his longest since the beginning of his professional career, according to the BSO.

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