The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music profile: Seiji Ozawa speaks out about cancer, conducting

September 18, 2010
3 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

In 2002, Japanese-born conductor Seiji Ozawa (below) — a protege of Leonard Bernstein — left the Boston Symphony Orchestra after almost 30 years. Born in 1935, he had previously been in San Francisco and Toronto.

When he left, there were unkind words about how the symphony had degenerated or grown lax under his long — some said too long — tenure. So he was replaced with Met Opera conductor James Levine.

But Ozawa, who went to the Vienna State Opera, recently faced serious health problems, including esophogeal cancer.

He recently returned to the podium, albeit briefly, at a festival in Japan.

On that occasion, the New York Times featured a fine interview with the veteran musician.

Ozawa’s story of persistence is an inspiring testament to the importance that making music continues to hold for him.

It’s worth reading and so here is a link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/09/arts/music/09ozawa.html

Here is a link to Wikipedia’s bio of Ozawa;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiji_Ozawa

Here is also a link to Ozawa on Ozawa:

I’d be interested in hearing if you heard Ozawa live or like his recordings.

The Ear wants to hear.

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Posted in Classical music

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