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Seiji Ozawa

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Seiji Ozawa (小澤征爾, born September 1, 1935) is a Japanese conductor, particularly noted for his interpretations of large-scale late Romantic works.

Born in Shenyang, China in 1935 to Japanese parents, Seiji Ozawa studied both Western and Oriental music as a child and later graduated from Tokyo’s Toho School of Music. In 1959 Ozawa won first prize at the International Conducting Competition at Besancon and was invited to Tanglewood by Charles Munch. Ozawa was made an assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic for the 1961-1962 season. He was Music Director of the Chicago Symphony’s Ravinia Festival for five summers beginning in 1963, and Music Director for four seasons of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a post he relinquished in 1969 in order to guest conduct in America and Europe. In 1970 he was made an artistic director at Tanglewood and the same year he began his inaugural season as Conductor and Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1976. In 1973, Ozawa began his term as Music Director with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with whom he made tours to Japan in 1978 and Europe in 1976 and 1979. The BSO’s historic visit to the People’s Republic of China in 1979 followed Ozawa’s visit in 1978, when he was invited to work with the Peking Central Philharmonic Orchestra.

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