James Levine

American conductor James Levine is dead. Dr. Len Horovitz, his private physician, said Levine died already on March 9 in Palm Springs, California, of “natural causes.”

Levine who served as music director for the Metropolitan Opera in New York for four decades before sexual abuse accusations prompted dis dismissal, led about 2,500 performances of more than 80 operas at the Met. He also conducted some of the major orchestras of America and Europe, most notably the Munich Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Levine stepped down as music director in 2016 due to health problems, but was fired in 2018 from all tasks after three men accused of sexual harassment.

Levine and the Met reached an out-of-court settlement in 2019 resolving his lawsuit accusing the company of breach of contract and defamation and the company’s countersuit.

Levine was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1943. He made his debut as a piano soloist at age 10 with the Cincinnati Symphony. After studying at the Juilliard School of music in New York, he was invited in 1963 to serve as assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra under prominent conductor George Szell.

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