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date: 18 October 2019

Ozawa, Seiji locked

  • José A. Bowen


(b Fenytien [now Shenyang], China, Sept 1, 1935). American conductor of Japanese descent. He learnt the piano from an early age, studying Bach with Noboru Toyomasu from the age of 12. He entered the Tōhō School of Music in Tokyo at 16 as a pianist, but switched to conducting and composition, studying with Hideo Saito, when he broke two of his fingers playing rugby. In 1954 he first conducted the NHK SO and the Japan PO and in 1958 he won first prizes in both conducting and composition at the Tōhō School. He moved to Paris, where he took first prize in the International Conductors' Competition at Besançon and befriended two of the judges: Eugène Bigot, who gave him conducting lessons, and Charles Munch, who invited him to the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he studied with Munch and Monteux and won the Koussevitzky prize. He then travelled to Berlin where he won a scholarship to study with Karajan; Bernstein noticed him there and offered him a job as an assistant conductor with the New York PO, a post he held from ...

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