Seiji Ozawa portraits

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Seiji Ozawa

Seiji Ozawa

(Born September 01, 1935)

Seiji Ozawa is a Japanese conductor known for his advocacy of modern composers and for his work with the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, and the Boston Symphony. He is the recipient of numerous international awards. Ozawa was born on September 1, 1935 to Japanese parents in the city of Mukden, Manchukuo (now Shenyang, China). When his family returned to Japan in 1944, he began studying piano with Noboru Toyomasu, heavily studying the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. After graduating from the Seijo Junior High School in 1950, Ozawa sprained his finger in a rugby game. Unable to continue studying the piano, his teacher at the Toho Gakuen School of Music, Hideo Saito, brought Ozawa to a life-changing performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, which ultimately shifted his musical focus from piano performance to conducting.

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