In the 33 years since his Metropolitan Opera debut, James Levine has developed a relationship with that company that is unparalleled in its history and unique in the musical world today. All told, he has led more than 2,000 performances of 80 different operas there. This season at the Met he conducts 48 performances of eight operas, including new productions of Die Zauberfl?te and Faust and revivals of Otello, Carmen, Pell?as et M?lisande, Le nozze di Figaro, Nabucco, and La clemenza di Tito, as well as the company's annual Pension Fund concert (a gala in May for the 50th anniversary of Mirella Freni's stage debut) and three programs each with the MET Orchestra and MET Chamber Ensemble here at Carnegie Hall. Also in 2004 05, Mr. Levine gives a master class at Zankel Hall for the Marilyn Horne Foundation, leads the Chicago Symphony in its annual Pension Fund Concert (with soloist Daniel Barenboim), and leads the Cincinnati Symphony and the May Festival Chorus in Berlioz's Requiem.
Mr. Levine became Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2004. He is the orchestra's 14th music director since the BSO's founding in 1881, and the first American-born conductor to hold that position. Mr. Levine opened his first season as BSO Music Director in October with Mahler's Eighth Symphony, the first of a dozen programs in Boston, three of which also came to Carnegie Hall. The season also includes appearances at Symphony Hall as pianist with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and in an all-Schubert four-hand recital with Evgeny Kissin. At Tanglewood in July he will lead concerts with both the Boston Symphony and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Mr. Levine made his Boston Symphony debut in April 1972 and his Tanglewood debut that July; he has led the orchestra in repertoire ranging from Haydn, Mozart, Schumann, Brahms, Dvorak, Verdi, Mahler, and Debussy to music of Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Elliott Carter, John Harbison, Gyorgy Ligeti, Roger Sessions, and Charles Wuorinen.
Mr. Levine was music director of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra from its founding in 2000 until 2004, and, before coming to Boston, was chief conductor for five seasons of the Munich Philharmonic. In the United States he led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 20 summers as music director of the Ravinia Festival and was music director for six summers of the Cincinnati May Festival. Besides his many recordings with the Metropolitan Opera and the MET Orchestra, he has amassed a substantial discography with such leading ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Vienna Philharmonic. Over the last 30 years he has made more than 200 recordings of works ranging from Bach to Babbitt. Maestro Levine is also active as a pianist, performing chamber music and in collaboration with many of the world's great singers. He was the subject of a Time cover story in 1983, was named Musician of the Year by Musical America in 1984, and has been featured in a documentary in PBS's American Masters series. The recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and international awards, he will receive the 2005 Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts this May from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Also in May, he will be one of 15 Centennial Honorees at the graduation ceremonies of The Juilliard School.