Boston — Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh has proclaimed September 1, 2020, Seiji Ozawa Day in the city of Boston. Mr. Ozawa, the longest-serving conductor in the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s history, turns 85 years old on that day, and partygoers around the world will celebrate it loudly.
Here’s what BSO President and CEO Mark Volpe has to say about the cause of this global celebration: “On behalf of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, I wish Seiji Ozawa a very happy 85th birthday celebration with his wife, Vera, daughter, Seira, son, Yuki, and dear grandson, Masaki. As the longest-serving music director in BSO history and a most beloved figure worldwide, Seiji holds a very special place in the hearts and minds of his many colleagues and the innumerable young musicians he has mentored throughout his distinguished career.
“Those of us fortunate to know him and to have been present for the fantastic music-making he elicits from an orchestra have been dazzled by his conducting, often described as balletic and always without a score. His prolific body of orchestral and operatic work—captured through hundreds of audio and video recordings—continues to strengthen a legacy of inspiration that will live on for generations. Andris Nelsons joins the entire BSO family in extending our very best wishes to his illustrious predecessor upon reaching this remarkable milestone. Seiji has touched the world with his beautiful humanity and musicianship, and the world is no doubt a better place for it. Happy Birthday, Seiji!”
Several organizations around the world closely affiliated with Seiji Ozawa will join the BSO in this celebration: the New Japan Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Vienna Philharmonic, Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival, Seiji Ozawa Music Academy, Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy Okushiga, and the Decca recording label. All are encouraging fans to engage with these organizations’ social media channels to get a glimpse of some of Mr. Ozawa’s major career moments.
By the way, this party is not a surprise. In fact, Ozawa himself is already enjoying it from afar, and here is his response:
“For me, Boston is like my second home. I love and miss all my colleagues and friends at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
“And of course, I miss my friends at the Red Sox and Patriots. (I have been watching ALL games through Internet!) My time in Boston is a very important part of my life and it is always with me, wherever I am.
“I am grateful to Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston. Thank you, Boston! With love, Seiji.”
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The Boston Symphony Orchestra hopes Mr. Ozawa’s fans from around the world will post birthday wishes using #HAPPYBIRTHDAYSEIJI.