Silence from Yannick over James Levinemain
In contrast to his usual media-friendly responses, there has been no comment from Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the death of his predecessor James Levine.
Nothing, either, from Valery Gergiev, who is Levine’s successor at the Munich Philharmonic. Or Andris Nelsons, his heir at the Boston Symphony.
The ego of maestros is egotistic.
We have seen one beautiful tribute. It’s from Donald Runnicles, Generalmusikdirektor of Deutsche Oper Berlin:
I cannot find the words to express adequately my sense of loss with the passing of Jimmy. The North Star of my journey as young conductor, all I ever wanted to do was to emulate this glorious and generous musician. From James Levine I endeavored to learn the lessons addressed in no conducting manual – Levine the master psychologist in rehearsals, who through endless optimism and constructive criticism drew consistently the best performances from singers and orchestras alike – indeed, often better than the artists believed themselves capable. At a crucial crossroads in my young career, James Levine in his incomparable musical brilliance and mentorship changed my life. I would not be where I am without his inspiration. The disturbing controversy which engulfed him in later years is as painful as it is tragic – I will nevertheless always owe a profound debt of gratitude to this phenomenal and eternally youthful conductor.I will always miss Jimmy. In my memory and daily musical life, this giant will live on.
UPDATE: Here’s Placido Domingo: