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Andris Nelsons to succeed James Levine at Boston Symphony

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Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons will succeed James Levine as music director of the Boston Symphony, the orchestra announced Thursday. The 34-year-old maestro currently heads the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England.

Nelsons will start the 2013-14 season with the Boston Symphony with the title "music director designate." He will assume the full title of music director in the 2014-15 season, according to an orchestra spokeswoman.

Levine stepped down as music director of the orchestra in 2011 after seven seasons. The ailing conductor had experienced a series of injuries that required surgeries, forcing him to cancel many of his conducting engagements in recent years.

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He remains the music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he is scheduled to resume conducting Sunday after a lengthy hiatus. The performance will be a concert with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

Nelsons made his Boston Symphony debut in 2011 in a concert at Carnegie Hall. He made his debut at Tanglewood last summer. The conductor began his music career playing the trumpet before turning to the podium. He served as music director of the Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007.

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