When David Levy, the Corcoran Gallery's new director, signed his contract he informed the board that he had a prior commitment in February. A jazz saxophonist, Levy, the former chancellor and chancellor for the arts of the New School for Social Research in New York, had scheduled a performing tour of Japan with a group of New York jazz greats including Chico Hamilton, drums; Donald Byrd, trumpet; Jimmy Heath, tenor saxophone; and former John Coltrane bassist Reggie Workman.

The group will perform in Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanagawa and give workshops during the day. Levy, who plays baritone and alto sax, also will have a hand in the group's arrangements, whose repertoire will include both originals and standards. "I'm kind of a classicist," Levy explained yesterday, his second day on the job at the Corcoran. "I love the Count Basie sound. I tend to take music I like and configure it for the group I'm playing with." Out and About

Wednesday wasn't just Sharon Pratt Dixon's inauguration, it was also a coming out of sorts for James R. Kelly III, who has been a close companion of the new mayor for the past year. The Dixon camp has been tight-lipped about the couple's relationship up to now. At one point during the inaugural ball, Dixon's daughter Aimee was asked what kind of business Kelly was in. Her only response was, "Maybe you should ask one of the press officers about this." Kelly is often a quiet, unidentified presence with the mayor and was seen with her Saturday night at the Bullets game. A New York businessman and part owner of WKYS-FM here, Kelly reportedly is determined to keep his private life private. Good luck with privacy if you're dating the mayor of the District of Columbia ...

People in the crowd at the Dixon inauguration who had more than a passing interest: Joseph Deoudes, a juror during Marion Barry's 10-week trial, and Richard W. Roberts, one of the prosecutors in the Barry case ...

Hospital Report: Academy Award winner George C. Scott has been released from Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut after two days. The hospital would not disclose the reason for the 63-year-old actor's stay, but New York Daily News columnist Liz Smith said yesterday that Scott had suffered his third heart attack. Scott won his Oscar for his role as Gen. George Patton in the 1970 movie "Patton," but he refused to accept the award. He was also nominated for Oscars for his roles in "Anatomy of a Murder" and "The Hustler" ... Partially paralyzed by a stroke more than a month ago, Burt Lancaster remains at an undisclosed hospital near his Los Angeles home. His agent, Ben Benjamin, says the 77-year-old Oscar winner is "doing as well as can be expected. He's responding to therapy and is in good spirits." Lancaster, who has starred in more than 70 movies and won his Oscar for the title role in 1960's "Elmer Gantry," suffered his stroke Nov. 30 ...

Former Washington hotelier Rose Narva threw her traditional New Year's Eve party at what was termed the reopening of the Autry Resort Hotel in Palm Springs, Calif. Narva, who is managing with hopes of buying the resort hotel owned by singing cowboy Gene Autry, had an Autry-era crowd of filmland celebrities at the black-tie reopening that included Phil Harris, Bert Parks, Buddy Ebsen, Buddy Rogers, Ruta Lee, Jane Withers and Monte Montana. Former Marine Corps Commandant P.X. Kelley and his wife, Barbara, were the only Washingtonians to fly out for the evening ...