KYOTO – Conductor Seiji Ozawa performed in front of an audience Wednesday evening for the first time in 14 months, conducting the Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku orchestra in Kyoto.
The 77-year-old maestro conducted a 10-minute overture of Egmont by Ludwig van Beethoven. Ozawa last performed in front of an audience in January 2012, when conducting the Mito Chamber Orchestra.
“I rejoiced,” Ozawa said after the performance.
“The powers of the young people (in the orchestra) are brilliant,” he said, adding their performance “has given me strength.”
Ozawa halted all public activities last March to concentrate on regaining his strength after undergoing surgery for esophageal cancer in 2010. He later came down with pneumonia three times.
He plans to make a full-fledged comeback in August at the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto, conducting French composer Maurice Ravel’s opera “The Child and the Spells.”