Japan’s most famous conductor, Maestro Seiji Ozawa, will be performing in a comeback concert in August at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. This is his first public performance after taking a year off due to bouts of pneumonia that have affected his health significantly.
According to festival officials, he will be conducting Maurice Ravel’s opera “The Child and the Spells” this August. Although it’s the first announced performance of the famed conductor, the festival organizers are not sure if this will be his actual first performance between now and then.
Ozawa, 77, was the former Vienna State Opera music director and also was the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He’s one of the first Asian classical musicians that became famous worldwide and has made it his mission to bring life to the classical music scene in Japan. He formed the Saito Kinen orchestra which he named after his former music teacher. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in January 2010 and underwent endoscopic lower back surgery in January 2011. He took a six month break afterwards, but by March, the break was extended to a year due to health issues following his completed treatment. Despite his waning strength at that time, he vowed that he will return to conducting once his health became a little more stable.
[ via Reuters ]