Commuters at JR Shinjuku Station in Tokyo saw a different kind of conductor Thursday morning as renowned maestro Seiji Ozawa took to the platform to promote an annual music festival in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture.
Ozawa, 66, former conductor of the Boston Symphony and current music director of the Vienna State Opera, will be music director of the Saito Kinen (Memorial) Festival Matsumoto, which runs from Aug. 24 to Sept. 12. He took part in the event on the station platform to promote the festival.
“We are planning to perform a Benjamin Britten opera and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and it will be a wonderful festival,” Ozawa said.
Others taking part in the promotion included Heisuke Hironaka, 71, a renowned mathematician who won the Fields Medal in 1970 and was a professor at Harvard University.
At the end of the event, the Azusa express train left the platform on its journey to Matsumoto as 25 kindergarten children played violin.
The Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto was founded in 1984 by Ozawa and other former students of Hideo Saito, a prominent music teacher and conductor. Saito was also a cellist and founded Ozawa’s alma mater, the Toho School of Music.
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