James Lawrence Levine (/lᵻˈvaɪn/; born June 23, 1943) is an American conductor and pianist. He is primarily known for his tenure as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, a position he held for 40 years (1976 to 2016). He has made numerous recordings, as well as television and radio broadcasts, with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Levine has also held leadership positions with the Ravinia Festival, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1980, he started the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program and often works to train promising singers, conductors, and musicians for professional careers. After suffering severe health problems, Levine took a hiatus from conducting for almost two years. He returned to conducting in 2013. He stepped down as the Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera at the end of the 2015-2016 season to assume the new position of Music Director Emeritus.