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Levine to return to conducting at the Met

Michael J. Lutch

James Levine conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard at Symphony Hall in 2010.

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James Levine, music director at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and former music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will return to conducting May 19 in a concert with the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, according to a Met announcement. The maestro, who has been recovering from a serious spinal injury after a fall in 2011, will also conduct three operas as well as Carnegie Hall concerts in the company’s 2013-14 season. The 2011 injury left Levine partially paralyzed, and he remains temporarily unable to walk, so he will conduct from a motorized wheelchair with customized elevating podiums at Carnegie Hall and the Met. Before his fall, Levine also had other surgeries to address painful spinal problems, and the pain aggravated a longstanding but relatively benign neurological disorder related to Parkinson’s disease, according to the statement. For reasons of privacy, Levine had not previously disclosed the ailment, medication for which contributed to shaking in his legs and left hand. “With his intensive rehabilitation, his upper body strength is greater than it has been in years,” said Levine’s neurologist, Edward Reich of Lenox Hill Hospital, in the statement. “James Levine is an inspirational case, whose return to conducting will be a result of remarkable perseverance and hard work,” said Len Horovitz, Levine’s personal physician. “I’m feeling better with each passing day and look forward to returning to the company I love so much,” Levine said.

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