Noted Director Seiji Ozawa, Dead At 88 SuperNayr

TOKYO (CelebrityAccess) — Seiji Ozawa, the noted conductor and longtime music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, died at his home in Tokyo on February 6th. He was 88.

His passing was announced by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, who said: “With great sorrow, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announces the death of its beloved Music Director Laureate, Seiji Ozawa.”

Born in China in 1935, Ozawa studied piano under Hideo Saito and first made a name for himself when he won First Prize at the International Competition of Orchestra Conductors held in Besançon, France, in 1959.

The following year, he was invited to Tanglewood by then BSO Music Director Charles Munch.  After mentoring by luminaries such as Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan, Ozawa secured directorships of some of the leading classical performance organizations in North America, including the Toronto Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony’s Ravinia summer festival, and finally the Boston Symphony 1973.

He remained with the BSO for 29 years, becoming the organization’s longest-serving musical director and surpassing the 25-year tenure of Serge Koussevitzky, who held the post from 1924 to 1949.

While at the BSO, he helped to raise the symphony’s international profile and worked with some of the leading contemporary composers of the 20th century, including Henri Dutilleux, Peter Lieberson, Olivier Messiaen, and Toru Takemitsu.

He also directed the Symphony for numerous award-winning performances featuring artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Itzhak Perlman, and Peter Serkin.

After stepping down at the BSO, Ozawa became the Musical Director at the Vienna State Opera until 2010 when he stepped down for health reasons.

Ozawa was recognized with numerous awards over the course of his long career, including becoming a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2015 and multiple Grammys.

“For Seiji, music started with silence, a blank canvas. He would then paint and illustrate a whole universe in a way that the world had not seen before and rarely since. It is difficult to be a pioneer, and he did so with grace — serving as a source of hope and inspiration for me, especially as an Asian-American artist. To collaborate with him was to exchange intuition and emotion at the deepest level, but most of all I remember Seiji as a joyful, kind, caring human being,” stated famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma after Ozawa’s passing.

Source link

Leave a Comment