Metropolitan Opera’s most esteemed conductor, James Levine, died on March 9, in Palm Springs, California, his doctor confirmed Wednesday. The cause of his death has not been announced. In December 2017, three men came forward with accusations that Levine had sexually abused them. The acts were said to have happened as far back as 1968 and began when the victims were teenagers. The allegations caused the Met to suspend and then fire Levine, in which he retaliated with a defamation lawsuit.
Before the scandal emerged, Levine was regarded as one of the most admired musical minds, defining the Met, the nation’s largest performing arts organization. While he had been associated with the Met for 47 years, he has also contributed to the success of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he served as a music director for seven years. His final years of his career were cut short by health issues, including a cancerous growth on his kidney and broken rotator cuff, which forced him to miss months of performances, eventually leading him to leave his Boston post in 2011.