Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Seiji Ozawa Conducts Carmina Burana

On Sept. 1, Seiji Ozawa turns 77. The Japanese conductor was born in Shenyang, China to Japanese parents in 1935. His family returned to Japan in 1944. Originally a piano student, Ozawa injured a finger playing sports and switched to conducting. In 1959, Ozawa won first prize at an international conducting competition in France, which led to an invitation by Charles Munch to attend Tanglewood (then called Berkshire Music Center) to study conducting with Munch and Pierre Monteux. Later Ozawa moved to West Berlin to study with Herbert von Karajan, and later took on the position of assistant conductor under Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic. Ozawa served as principal conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1965-69) as well as the San Francisco Symphony (1969-76). He became music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1973, a tenure that lasted 29 years. Following the BSO, Ozawa became principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra until ill health led to his resignation in 2010. Ozawa has been plagued by ill health in recent years, including cancer of the esophagus that was diagnosed in January 2010. To celebrate his birthday, here is Ozawa conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana with a great cast- soprano Kathleen Battle, tenor Frank Lopardo and baritone Thomas Allen. The performance dates from Dec. 31, 1989.

Joseph K. So

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