Injured James Levine Pulls Out of Boston Symphony Tour

Classic Arts News   Injured James Levine Pulls Out of Boston Symphony Tour
James Levine will miss a Boston Symphony Orchestra tour that starts tonight at Carnegie Hall because of shoulder problems stemming from his fall last week, the BSO announced.

Levine has not conducted since he tripped leaving the stage after the BSO's concert on March 1, canceling concerts in Boston on February 2, 3, and 4. The tour, which will include concerts in Chicago, Newark, Philadelphia, and Washington on March 7, 9, 10, and 11, was to have been his first as music director of the BSO.

Marek Janowski, the German-born music director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, will fill in tonight in New York; David Robertson, the music director of the St. Louis Symphony, will conduct the remainder of the tour.

In a statement released over the weekend, BSO music director Mark Volpe reiterated that Levine had no broken bones, adding that the conductor "continues to experience considerable soreness and discomfort in his shoulder. As a result, he has been ordered by doctors to continue resting from conducting."

In an interview with the New York Times, however, Volpe said that a specialist believes that Levine has injured the rotator cuff in his right, or conducting shoulder; the extent of the injury will be determined with an MRI scan today. A bruise would heal in a week or so, but a serious tear—the injury that has sidelined many a baseball pitcher—would require surgery and months off the podium.

The program for the BSO tour is otherwise unchanged. Tonight, Janowski will lead the same program that Levine conducted last week in Boston: Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with Christine Brewer, Jill Grove, Clifton Forbis, and Albert Dohmen as soloists.

The Chicago, Newark, Philadelphia, and Washington concerts will feature two new works recently performed by the BSO in Boston: Peter Lieberson's Neruda Songs, with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson as soloist, and Elliott Carter's Three Illusions for Orchestra. Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks and Beethoven's Seventh Symphony are also on the program.

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