Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director James Levine Withdraws From Conducting This Weeks Concerts Due to Immediate Unanticipated Back Surgery

Bso Assistant Conductors Shi-Yeon Sung And Julian Kuerti To Share Conducting Responsibilities For The Saturday, October 3 Symphony Hall Program Of Music By Beethoven, Carter, Debussy, Williams, And Ravel

BSO Music Director James Levine has had to withdraw from his upcoming conducting appearances tonight, September 29, and Saturday, October 3, at Symphony Hall in Boston, and Thursday, October 1, at Carnegie Hall in New York, due to immediate unanticipated back surgery for a herniated disc.

Boston Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Shi-Yeon Sung will conduct tonight’s performance of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Mozart’s Requiem with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Boston Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductors Julian Kuerti and Shi-Yeon Sung will split the program on Saturday, October 3, which honors Ann Hobson Pilot’s 40-year tenure as harpist with the BSO. Mr. Kuerti will conduct the first half of the program, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4. Ms. Sung will conduct Elliott Carter’s Mosaic, for harp and chamber ensemble, Debussy’s Danses sacrée et profane for harp and orchestra, John Williams’s On Willows and Birches, for harp and orchestra, and Ravel’s La Valse, with Ann Hobson Pilot returning to the BSO principal harp chair for this special occasion.

“All of us at the BSO are disappointed that Maestro Levine will not be able to conduct the Tuesday and Saturday subscription concerts in Boston and Opening Night at Carnegie Hall,” said Mark Volpe, BSO Managing Director. “Our thoughts are with Jim and we wish him a speedy recovery so he can soon return to the BSO podium and the glorious music-making for which he is so universally known. We are fortunate at the BSO to have two very talented assistant conductors, Shi-Yeon Sung and Julian Kuerti, who are scheduled to fill in for the two programs to take place in Boston this week. Despite Jim’s absence, we remain very excited to open Carnegie Hall’s 2009-10 season.”

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