Levine plans return to Ravinia

Levine plans return to Ravinia


norman lebrecht

August 25, 2015

Seldom seen outside New York these days due to uncertain health, James Levine has been announced as conductor of Mahler’s second symphony next year at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, of which he was once music director.

The festival has suspended that title with James Conlon’s departure ths summer.

All conductors next year will be guests – six of them first-timers:  Cristian Macelaru, Vasily Petrenko, Ben Gernon, Gustavo Gimeno, Kirill Karabits and George Hanson.



  • John says:

    Fingers crossed!

  • Daniel F. says:

    Levine is scheduled to guest-conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra this season. He’ll be rolling down the Christie Turnpike at some point during the winter. Fingers crossed indeed!

  • hypocritesgalore says:

    His greed knows no bounds.

    • Daniel F. says:

      “Greed”?? He is a world-class conductor, much in demand (except in Boston), who, were it not for health issues that have nearly derailed his career, would be in sought after in all major cities of the world. So he accepted an offer close at hand, and you call that greed? What do you know that the rest of us don’t?

      • Mark Mortimer says:


        You’re sure that its just ‘health issues’ that have derailed his career?!

        • Daniel F. says:

          First of all, I said “NEARLY derailed” his career. He went through two seasons in which he was unable to perform at all and large parts of several others were lost as well, due primarily to spinal issues. There was also kidney cancer and a torn rotator cuff. I’d call those “health issues.” What are YOU really suggesting behind your innuendo?

  • 110 says:

    Do not be too critical,music is not only a passion but a real addiction.

  • hypocritesgalore says:

    $2,000,000 plus a year for lax leadership at the Met. Not exactly a secret. What is the ROI for the Met? Reduced attendance? How about spending a bit more time overseeing the musical and artistic level at his company rather than announcing useless returns like Verbier – canceled – and now Ravinia. Make room for the future.

    • Daniel F. says:

      So, you’re saying that because he gets $2,000,000/year from the Met, he is “greedy” to accept a single week’s guest conducting gig in Philadelphia? The logic escapes me. Are you saying he should insist on a voluntary pay-cut at the Met? Since you don’t know exactly how Levine spends his time at the House when he is not rehearsing a production, why do you assume necessarily that he is not doing due diligence? I mean: what could he do possibly that would satisfy you—that is, besides resigning or dying?

      • norman lebrecht says:

        In Chicago.

        • Daniel F. says:

          I think you missed the “thread,” such as it was. The word “greed” didn’t enter the discussion until I noted that JL was scheduled to guest-conduct “in Philadelphia” this winter. The confusion was caused, I guess, because “hypocitesgalore” wrote a separate entry instead of replying to me.