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SEIJI OZAWA: Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto

by Chiho Iuchi

The Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto will be world- renowned conductor Seiji Ozawa’s first performance since January, following his diagnosis with esophageal cancer. Thanks to prompt treatment, the maestro is due to recover in time for the annual music event that he founded in 1992. Ozawa will conduct the Saito Kinen Orchestra in two programs, one featuring Toru Takemitsu’s “November Steps” and Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique,” and the other with the world premiere of Atsuhiko Gondai’s “Decathexis,” which was jointly commissioned by the SKF and Carnegie Hall, and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.

Also check out: Richard Strauss’ opera “Salome” will be conducted by young Israeli conductor Omer Meir Wellber after Ozawa pulled out due to illness.

The setting: Having taken root in the city of Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, the festival is loved by local residents and visiting classical music fans.

When/where: Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. Ozawa conducts Sept. 5, 6, 8, 9 at Nagano-ken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan. Tickets: ¥10,000- ¥23,000. “Salome” is performed Aug. 22, 25, 28 and 30 at Matsumoto Performing Arts Center; Tickets: ¥10,000-¥30,000.