Tone Poem Tuesday (Farewell, Seiji Ozawa)

Maestro Seiji Ozawa died last week, aged 88.

Ozawa was best known for his long tenure as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, all twenty-nine years of that tenure–the longest of any of that great orchestra’s many amazing conductors.

In addition to his direct music-making, Ozawa was always deeply invested in teaching young musicians and young conductors. Here is a clip in which he steps in to correct a young conducting student on a matter of technique: “I try to understand you. I don’t do this…[conducts with a vague circular motion of the hand]…that’s like, ‘eighteen minutes, cook the spaghetti.'”

Here is how the Boston Symphony marked his passing:

And here he is, not too many years ago, looking perhaps a bit frail…but still able to bring the goods when Beethoven is on the program.

Thank you for all the music, Seiji Ozawa! You made the world better.

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