Honoring Seiji Ozawa at the Kennedy Center

Posted on: December 7, 2015

In Friday’s (12/4) Washington Post, Anne Midgette profiles Seiji Ozawa, music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1973 to 2002, who is one of this year’s Kennedy Center Honorees. “For a couple of decades, Seiji Ozawa was one of the most familiar faces in American classical music,” Midgette writes. “Turn on your TV, or look in your record store, and you’d see him: the mane of Beatles-like hair, the signature turtleneck in lieu of a starched shirt, the emotive energetic gestures…. Ozawa was the first Japanese conductor to attain international status in the leading ensembles of the world. He achieved it, furthermore, without sacrificing his Japanese identity…. [At the Boston Symphony] he oversaw some fine years, led the orchestra on significant tours, and presided over a significant expansion of the Tanglewood campus.” The article chronicles Ozawa’s love of baseball, his recovery from recent health issues, and his work at organizations including the Ravinia Festival, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony. The Kennedy Center Honors ceremony took place on December 6; the program will be broadcast on December 29. Other honorees include singer/songwriter Carole King, actress/singer Rita Moreno, actress Cicely Tyson, and filmmaker George Lucas.

Posted December 7, 2015

Photo of Seiji Ozawa by Walter Scott