World-Renowned Conductor Seiji Ozawa Dies at 88

Society Culture

Tokyo, Feb. 9 (Jiji Press)--World-renowned Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa died of heart failure in his home in Tokyo on Tuesday, it was learned Friday. He was 88.

Ozawa was a pioneering Japanese conductor on the world stage, serving as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for roughly 30 years.

Born in modern-day northeastern China in 1935, he studied under composer Hideo Saito at the Toho Gakuen Music High School. He moved to France in 1959 and won the International Competition for Young Conductors in Besancon, France.

He later studied under top conductors Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein and took up roles such as conductor at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and music director of the San Francisco Symphony.

Ozawa also served as music director of the BSO for nearly three decades from 1973. He made guest appearances with prestigious European orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic.

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