Conductor James Levine (leh-VINE') is stepping down as Boston Symphony Orchestra's music director on Sept. 1 because of ill health.
The orchestra announced the resignation Wednesday, a day after Levine withdrew from his remaining schedule this season because of ill effects from a recent procedure intended to fix lingering back problems and complications from a viral infection.
Levine says he needs to "focus more of my attention on getting back to better health." He says the resignation is in everyone's best interest.
Orchestra Managing Director Mark Volpe says talks are in progress with Levine to define a new, permanent role for him.
Levine is also music director of New York's Metropolitan Opera.
He had back surgery last year and missed the orchestra's 2010 summer season at Tanglewood. It's his seventh season with the orchestra.