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James Levine (born June 23, 1943 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American orchestral pianist and conductor and most well known as the music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He is also the current music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Levine was born into a musical family: his maternal grandfather was a cantor in a synagogue, his father was a violinist, who led a dance band, and his mother was an actress. He began to play the piano as a small child. At the age of 10, he made his concert debut as soloist in Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 2 at a youth concert of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.