Maggio Musicale Superintendent Alexander Pereira Discusses James Levine’s Return

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Koichi Miura/Metropolitan Opera)

Following the announcement that James Levine would be returning to the podium during the 2020-21 season at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, superintendent Alexander Pereira spoke about his decision to contract the conductor.

In an interview with Musical America, Periera said, “I always try to protect people that are demonized. Rightly or wrongly, that’s how I am. He has been silent for such a long time, after contributing so much to music, and I  think that the musical world needs to hear him.”

He added, “We worked hard with Levine’s agent to convince him, but I think what ultimately swayed his decision is that he is missing it so much.”

Periera also revealed that Zubin Mehta and many of his colleagues were happy with the decision. The superintendent also revealed that the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is considering working with him and Riccardo Chailly was ready to let Levine conduct the Verdi Requiem at the Teatro alla Scala.

Levine is scheduled to conduct for the first time following sexual assault allegations at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in January in concert performances of “La Damnation de Faust,” the Brahms Requiem, and Mozart symphonies.