Levine Turns 60

His trademark is a towel flung over his shoulder: James Levine, Music Director at the Munich Philharmonic, and one of the most successful American conductors. James Levine will be 60 on June 23. With no doubt, he owes his fame to the Metropolitan Opera, the gigantic opera house in New York, which has been his steady employer since 1973. He turned an opera orchestra of average quality into a world-renowned orchestra which regularly tours, and which is comfortable not with opera, but also with symphonic repertory. Levine, however, seems ubiquitous: He leads the Metropolitan Opera and the Munich Philharmonic simultaneously, conducting the three tenor concerts has brought him the recognition value of second-tier pop star, and every so often, he also appears as a piano accompanist for singers. Next year, Levine will take up a new position, becoming the new Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Georg Hirsch spoke with Levine.

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