Conductor Nelsons cancels BSO debut

Conductor Andris Nelsons announced today he is cancelling his Symphony Hall debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, scheduled for Jan. 5, 6, and 7, citing the expected arrival of his and his wife’s first child.

Nelsons’s appearance in Boston had been eagerly anticipated, as the conductor is widely rumored to be an unofficial candidate to replace music director James Levine, whose resignation went into effect in September. The cancellation was the second such disappointment in less than a month, as conductor Riccardo Chailly — also speculated to be a potential candidate to lead the BSO — withdrew from his two weeks of scheduled performances in January, for health reasons.

BSO assistant conductor Marcelo Lehninger will replace Nelsons at Symphony Hall next month, in a program with Haydn’s Symphony No. 88 replacing the previously scheduled Symphony No. 90. (The rest of the program remains unchanged.) Nelsons is scheduled to appear with the BSO at Tanglewood this summer in concerts July 14-16.