Samurai #6: Seiji Ozawa

(2 votes)

Article by Anthony Al-Jamie (continued)

SEIJI Ozawa began his music career as a piano student only to sprain his finger playing rugby as a teenager. Unable to continue the piano, his teacher at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo brought Ozawa to a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, a life-changing event that shifted his focus from piano performance to conducting.

Ozawa went on to receive a raft of awards for excellence in conducting. He was invited by Charles Munch, the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, to attend the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. At Tanglewood, he studied under Munch and French conductor Pierre Monteux and he won the Koussevitzky Prize for Outstanding Student Conductor.

Ozawa later moved to West Berlin, where he studied under the renowned Austrian conductor Herbert Von Karajan and gained the attention of Leonard Bernstein, a famed American conductor. Bernstein appointed Ozawa as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for the 1961-62 season. He made his first professional concert appearance in North America in January 1962 with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. He went on to conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for five summers, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, where we served as music director.

In 1964, Ozawa conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the first time at Tanglewood and made his first symphony hall appearance in January 1968. He began his 29-year tenure as music director of the prestigious Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1973. Ozawa won his first Emmy in 1976 for a Boston Symphony Orchestra PBS television series. In 1994, the Boston Symphony Orchestra honored Ozawa by dedicating a concert hall in his name. That same year he received his second Emmy Award. In 2002, Ozawa became the principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera.

He was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by French President Jacques Chirac in 1998, a year after winning Musician of the Year by Musical America. He has been recognized on more than one occasion by the Emperor of Japan. tj

Seiji Ozawa was selected as Samurai #6 based on:
»»his prestigious career as one of the world’s leading conductors
»»his lifetime dedication to music
»»his work at the Tanglewood Music Center and Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy in educating young musicians
»»his unique ability to express himself to an international audience through music and conducting

澤征爾はピアニスト志望だったが、 中学時代にラグビーの試合で指にけ がをしたためピアノを断念した。桐 朋学園大学の師とともに聴きに行ったベー トーベンの交響曲第5 番の演奏をきっかけに、 指揮者への道を志すことになる。

その後小澤は、指揮者として多くの賞を受賞 した。ボストン交響楽団の音楽監督シャルル・ ミュンシュに招かれ、タングルウッド音楽セン ターでミュンシュに加えフランス人指揮者ピ エール・モントゥーの下で学ぶ機会を得た。タ ングルウッドで学ぶ間に、クーセヴィツキー賞 を受賞した。その後、西ベルリンに移り、著 名なオーストリア人指揮者ヘルベルト・フォ ン・カラヤンに師事した。著名な指揮者レナー ド・バーンスタインが小澤に注目し、1961 ~ 1962 年のシーズンにニューヨーク・フィル ハーモニックの副指揮者に指名した。北米での プロデビューは1962 年1 月、サンフランシ スコ交響楽団だった。長年にわたり多くの楽団 で指揮をし、シカゴ交響楽団では5 回の夏公 演で指揮を務め、トロント交響楽団、サンフラ ンシスコ交響楽団の音楽監督を歴任した。

1964 年、タングルウッドで初めてボストン交 響楽団の指揮をし、1968 年1 月にはシンフォ ニー・ホールの舞台に初めて立った。1973 年、 ボストン交響楽団の音楽監督に就任し、以後 30 年近くこの任務を果たした。1976 年には PBS テレビのボストン交響楽団シリーズでエ ミー賞を初受賞した。1994 年、ボストン交 響楽団は小澤の功績を讃え、コンサートホー ルに彼の名前を冠した。この年、小澤は2 度 目のエミー賞を受賞した。2002 年にはウィー ン国立歌劇場の音楽監督となった。

フランス政府からはフランス芸術文化勲章 シュヴァリエ章を授与された。1997 年、小 澤はミュージカル・アメリカのミュージシャ ン・オブ・ザ・イヤーに選ばれ、天皇からも 一度ならずその功績を認められている。tj

小澤征爾を侍 ナンバー6 に選んだ理由:
»»タングルウッド音楽センターや小澤国際室 内楽アカデミーでの若い音楽家教育におけ る功績
»»音楽と指揮を通じ世界の観衆に語りかける 類まれな表現力

– Photos courtesy of Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy

Samurai #7: Ichiro Suzuki
Samurai #6: Seiji Ozawa

Samurai #5: Osamu Tezuka

Samurai #4: Kisho Kurokawa
Samurai #3: Soichiro Honda

Samurai #2: Akira Kurosawa

Samurai #1: Akio Morita



Written By:

Anthony Al-Jamie

Anthony Al-Jamie lived and worked in Japan for over 20 years. His in-depth understanding of Japanese language and culture has allowed him to carry out interviews with many of the most renowned individuals in Japan. He first began writing for the Tokyo Journal in the 1990s as Education Editor, later he was promoted to Senior Editor, and eventually International Editor and Executive Editor. He currently serves the Tokyo Journal as Editor-in-Chief.


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