Seiji Ozawa eyes comeback with Vienna Phil

Seiji Ozawa eyes comeback with Vienna Phil


norman lebrecht

October 07, 2015

Recuperating from cancer Seiji Ozawa, 80, tried his hand at an overture with the Vienna Philharmonic in Tokyo. From the Asahi Shimbun:

ozawa rainer kuchl
Photo: Wilfried Hedenborg


By JUNKO YOSHIDA/ Senior Staff Writer
Maestro Seiji Ozawa led the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as a guest conductor after being feted with a special birthday performance during an open rehearsal on Oct. 4 at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

Conductor Christoph Eschenbach and the orchestra, both of whom are in Japan to give performances, played a birthday song based on the works of Beethoven and Bernstein for Ozawa, who turned 80 on Sept. 1.

During the free event, Ozawa took the conductor’s podium in red sneakers and led the orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s “Egmont” Overture.

“We knew what both sides wanted to do the moment they played the first note,” Ozawa said after the performance. “I am totally overwhelmed. I was reminded that they are not your average orchestra.”



  • Stephen Owades says:

    I’m glad to read news of continuing improvement in Seiji Ozawa’s health. But what does the headline here have to do with the article? According to the Asahi Shimbun piece, Maestro Ozawa conducted a single piece in an open rehearsal of the Vienna Philharmonic in Tokyo—an event which was held, in part, to celebrate his 80th birthday. There’s no mention of further plans to work with the Vienna Philharmonic, so what does “eyes comeback” mean? If this event counts as a “comeback,” he’s already done it. If there’s something additional to suggest that he expects to conduct them again in a more formal setting, that isn’t explored anywhere except in the misleading headline.