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Met Opera Conductor Suffers From Tremors

May 1, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Metropolitan Opera’s music director, James Levine, said he has suffered from tremors in his left arm and leg for about a decade but the condition has not affected his work.

Levine, 60, told The New York Times in a story published Saturday that his doctor has not been able to make a diagnosis but the shaking has not worsened over the last ten years.

``It hasn’t budged,″ he said. He said he has no other symptoms and takes medications for the tremors and for sciatica.

``It’s just part of me,″ Levine said. ``I take medicine he prescribed for me, but it is not strong and not with noticeable side effects.″

On Friday, the Met announced that it has extended Levine’s contract by five years, from 2006-07 through the 2010-11 season.

Adding to his professional commitments, Levine is expected to begin as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra this fall while continuing his conducting duties at the Met.

Levine has been at the Met since June 1971, when he conducted Puccini’s ``Tosca.″ He became music director at the start of the 1976-77 season and has served as artistic director since 1986.

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