The Met loses James Levine for a season

The Metropolitan Opera in New York is losing its music director, James Levine, for its fall season due to a back injury. The New York Times says Levine, 68, fell while on holiday in Vermont and damaged a vertebra.

“I don’t think there’s anybody who’s more frustrated and upset than he is,” Met general manager Peter Gelb tells the Times. “Obviously it’s very disappointing for everybody in the company.”

The pianist has undergone a number of back operations to correct a spinal stenosis.

In March he resigned as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra citing continuing health issues. (His resignation was effective as of Sept. 1.)

Levine made a notable appearance as a guest conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1970. In 1999, he took the orchestra of Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music to the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

Levine will stay on as music director, the Met says, but his conducting duties will be handled by principal guest conductor, Fabio Luisi.

Here’s a clip of Levine Conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 as shown on PBS’ American Masters documentary in May, James Levine: America's Maestro.