Levine, James, 1943–, American conductor, b. Cincinnati, Ohio. A piano prodigy, he was a soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony at the age of 10. After extensive musical studies, he served (1964–65) as an apprentice to George Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra, becoming (1965–70) its assistant conductor. Particularly renowned for his wide knowledge and sensitive performances of the operatic repertoire, Levine made his conducting debut with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra in 1971. Extremely popular, he became the opera's principal conductor in 1973, musical director in 1976, and artistic director in 1986, and transformed its orchestra into a great opera and symphony ensemble. He also was music director of the Munich Philharmonic from 1999 to 2004, when he became music director (2004–11) of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
See Dialogues and Discoveries by R. C. Marsh (1998).
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