12. February 2016 · Comments Off on James Levine · Categories: Health, Read Online

James Levine, the longtime Metropolitan Opera music director whose health struggles recently brought him to the verge of retirement from that position, has canceled a series of concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra next week. Mr. Levine, 72, who has Parkinson’s disease, has been modifying his medication levels in an attempt to ease his condition, and the orchestra said in a statement that “the physical demands of travel, rehearsal and concert performance would be detrimental to his current medical treatment.”

The Met had expected to announce his retirement as music director this month. But Mr. Levine received an 11th-hour reprieve when his doctor said that an adjustment in his medication, L-dopa, would reduce the involuntary movements, or dyskinesia, that have affected his work on the podium.

His concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra were eagerly anticipated because his appearances outside the Met have been rare in the last few years. He was the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 2004 until 2011, when he resigned because of his health problems. He will be replaced in Philadelphia by Michael Tilson Thomas, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony.

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