Seiji Ozawa

The future of Western classical music in Japan took a decisive turn in 1950, when 15-year-old Seiji Ozawa sprained his finger in a rugby game. As Ozawa was unable to play the piano, his music teacher, Hideo Saito, took him to a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. He came away burning with the desire to be the maestro eliciting those celestial sounds from an orchestra. Nine years later, Ozawa won first prize at an international conducting competition in France, which earned him an invitation to conduct at Tanglewood, the summer home of the legendary Boston Symphony Orchestra. By 1973, Ozawa...

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