James Lawrence Levine (; born June 23, 1943) is an American conductor and pianist. He is primarily known for his tenure as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera (the “Met”), a position he held for 40 years (1976–2016). He was formally terminated by the Met from all his positions and affiliations with the company on March 12, 2018 over sexual misconduct allegations that he denies.Levine has made numerous recordings, as well as television and radio broadcasts, with the Met. Levine has also held leadership positions with the Ravinia Festival, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1980 he started the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, and he has often trained promising singers, conductors, and musicians for professional careers.
After taking an almost two-year health-related hiatus from conducting from 2011 to 2013, Levine retired as the Met’s full-time Music Director following the 2015/16 season to become Music Director Emeritus.
On December 2, 2017, The New York Times published a front-page story containing detailed accounts of four men in their 40s to 60s alleging their long-term sexual abuse by Levine occurring decades earlier, while each was a music student of his in his teens or early 20s. The following day, the Met suspended Levine and cancelled his future scheduled engagements. The Ravinia Festival also promptly severed all ties with Levine, as did the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which announced that Levine would never again “be employed or contracted by the BSO at any time in the future.” Following an investigation that ended in March 2018, having “found credible evidence”, the Met terminated its relationship with Levine, for “sexually abusive and harassing conduct”.