Breaking: James Levine cancels summer festival with infection

The Met maestro has pulled out of the Verbier Festival next weekend with an ear infection. He will be substituted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. It has been several years since Levine was last seen in Europe.

He said: ‘I am distraught and frustrated beyond words that I cannot come back this summer to the Verbier Festival, but my doctors have forbidden me to fly in the immediate future due to a particularly bad ear infection.’

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press release:

Verbier, 10 July 2015 / James Levine will not conduct at the Verbier Festival on 17 July. He will be replaced by the Finnish maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen. Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 will be performed in place of Schubert’s Symphony No. 9. The rest of the programme remains unchanged (http://www.verbierfestival.com/programme-tickets/programme/event/2015-07-17-1900?language=en).

 

The Verbier Festival regrets that James Levine will not be able to conduct the opening concert on 17 July due to a serious ear infection which prevents him from flying. He will be replaced by Esa-Pekka Salonen, a world-renowned conductor and composer, who returns to Verbier after several years of absence. The first part of the programme remains unchanged; Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 will be performed in place of Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in the second part of the concert.

 

Maestro James Levine expresses his deep regret to the Festival public and team, all of whom were waiting with enthusiasm for his return: “I am distraught and frustrated beyond words that I cannot come back this summer to the Verbier Festival, but my doctors have forbidden me to fly in the immediate future due to a particularly bad ear infection”.

Martin Engstroem, Founder and Executive Director of the Verbier Festival, shares his disappointment: “I am saddened that James Levine will not be with us this summer. It would have been an important moment for me personally but also for James Levine who wanted to come back to “his” Verbier Festival where he was Music Director for 8 years (between 2000 and 2007). We wish him a prompt recovery and hope to see him back in Verbier very soon”.

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  • Why does he have to fly? RMS QM2 is still in service making transatlantic crossings and the voyage would probably do wonders.Just sayin’. He could have left 2 July.

  • Get well soon Maestro Levine.

    Flying or not, attempting to conduct with an ear infection does not sound fun.

  • Wishing you the best of health, Maestro. I still haven’t forgotten your wonderful production of Lulu over 30 years ago!

  • I am not doubting the maestro’s word but it should perhaps be noted that Pavarotti used the ear infection “excuse” (he had none!) more than once to avoid or change a date for reasons known only to himself and his concert promoter. Certainly travelling by air with a genuine ear infection can be medically dangerous.

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