An old piano sits by a window in the corner of a tiny room in Seiji Ozawa's office in Tokyo's Seijo neighborhood. The 82-year-old conductor's father apparently bought it for him more than 70 years ago.

Upon entering the office for our interview, Ozawa sits on a chair next to the piano as per the photographer's request. Once the portraits are shot, it's time for the interview but — to everyone's surprise — he begins playing the piano.

Swaying gently, Ozawa plays slow, improvised jazzy melodies. The piano is out of tune, which gives the notes a nostalgic feel. Eventually, however, he finds a few decent keys, saying, "the sound is good around here."