America’s Maestro
5 May 2011
Inside the Classics

For those of you who missed it, here’s a link to the Fresh Air interview with James Levine that aired on NPR yesterday. Levine is the subject of a barrage of commemorative media, from the Met’s DVD set James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met and PBS’s James Levine: America’s Maestro to the new coffee table book James Levine: 40 Years at the Metropolitan Opera.

I had the fortune to work with Levine back in the summer of 2000, when I assisted him at the Verbier Festival, where he was music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra from its inaugural season, in 2000, through 2008. I still remember the Schubert 9 he did – so full of potent detail and so carefully thought out, but at the same time unfolding with such organic ease. He knows how to coax the best out of musicians and to put the shared responsibility of musicianship into their hands, which results in truly committed performances.

<February 2020>

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