Acclaimed Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa dies at age 88


TOKYO — World-renowned conductor Seiji Ozawa has died of heart failure at his home in Tokyo, his management office said Friday. He was 88.

The acclaimed Japanese maestro led the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1973 to 2002, longer than any other conductor in the orchestra’s 128-year history. From 2002 to 2010, he was music director of the Vienna State Opera.

Ozawa exerted enormous influence over the BSO during his tenure. His celebrity attracted famous performers like Yo-Yo Ma. He won two Emmys for television work with the orchestra.

When Ozawa conducted the Boston orchestra in 2006 for the first time since he left four years before, he received a hero’s welcome with a nearly six-minute ovation.

Ozawa was also the artistic director and founder of the Saito Kinen Festival, Japan’s music and opera festival.

Ozawa died on Tuesday at his Tokyo home, according to his management office, Veroza Japan. His funeral was attended only by close relatives as his family wished to have a quiet farewell, his office said.



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