Keeping time:

James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

By Thomasine Berg
Globe Staff / February 22, 2009

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April 1972

28-year-old James Levine makes his conducting debut with the BSO in performances of Mozart's Symphony No. 35, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, and Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition."

November 1994

First return to Symphony Hall since a 1978 concert series, to conduct Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde"

October 2001

Named BSO music director designate.

Oct. 22, 2004

Symphony Hall debut as the BSO's 14th music director, the first American-born conductor to hold that position. The performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 8, the "Symphony of a Thousand," is followed by a gala dinner for more than 800 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel.

Jan. 13, 2005

World premiere of Milton Babbitt's "Concerti for Orchestra," a work the BSO commissioned, and the first piece by Babbitt ever performed by the orchestra.

January 2006

First concerts of the "Beethoven-Schoenberg project," which continued through two seasons juxtaposing works by two of music's revolutionaries.

March 1, 2006

Levine trips and falls onstage after a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, injuring his shoulder and requiring a months-long sabbatical to recuperate.

Dec. 19, 2006

Release of the first Levine-BSO CDs, with mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing "Neruda Songs" recorded in concert just months before her death. The recording wins the Grammy Award in 2008 for Best Classical Vocal Recording.

July 28, 2007

A rousing concert performance of Verdi's "Don Carlo" at Tanglewood showcases Levine's investment in the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and Vocal Fellows.

August 2007

Levine and orchestra embark on their first joint European tour.

April-May 2008

Performances of Berlioz's epic opera "Les Troyens" end the Symphony Hall season.

July 6, 2008

After opening the Tanglewood season with another "Les Troyens" performance, Levine abruptly leaves for New York, where he has emergency surgery to remove a cancerous kidney. He misses the remainder of the summer season.

July 20-24, 2008

Tanglewood Music Center dedicates its entire five-day Festival of Contemporary Music to the works of Elliott Carter in honor of the composer's centenary. Levine serves as festival director but misses the event as he recovers from surgery.

Sept. 24, 2008

Levine returns to conduct the opening of the 2008-09 BSO season, with all-Russian standards by Glinka, Tchaikovsky, and Mussorgsky.

Dec. 11, 2008

On Carter's 100th birthday, Levine and the BSO (with Daniel Barenboim as piano soloist) perform a new Carter work in Carnegie Hall.

Feb. 19, 2009

Release of the first Levine-BSO recordings on BSO Classics label: Ravel's complete "Daphnis and Chloé" and Brahms's "A German Requiem" in live performances. Also released for download only are Mahler's Symphony No. 6, William Bolcom's Eighth Symphony, and Bolcom's "Lyric Concerto."

Feb. 21, 2009

Final scheduled performance of Levine's fifth season in Symphony Hall. His contract has been extended through the 2011-12 season.

October 2, 2010

Levine returns to the podium after seven months recuperating

February 25, 2011

Levine's brother, Tom Levine, tells the Globe that the maestro may have to reduce his workload.

March 2, 2011

James Levine resigns as music director of the BSO effective Sept. 1.

March 2, 2010

The BSO announces Levine will miss the rest of the season due to back problems.