A greeting to Seiji Ozawa on the conductor's 75th birthday
Seiji Ozawa, who turns 75 today -- Wednesday, Sept. 1 -- has been slowly returning to the limelight since being sidelined by esophageal cancer in January and, lately, by sciatica.
Although it appears that he still has a way to go toward full recovery, it's great to see that he has concert dates on his calendar again. He's scheduled to be on the podium next week to lead a movement from Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings at a festival next week in Japan, and he's still expected at Carnegie Hall's JapanNYC festival in December.
Ozawa, the former, longtime music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is one of the world's most respected music-makers; the chorus of well-wishers has been large and loud since news of his illness broke.
The Boston Symphony is gathering birthday greetings on the orchestra's Facebook page, and, over the weekend at the Tanglewood Festival, musicians and staffers of the orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and audience members sang "Happy Birthday" to Ozawa (see photo).
I've put together a birthday salute of videos below, starting with
a terrific drive through the finale of Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra," and moving on to a little frivolity appropriate to a celebratory occasion -- the conductor's "pretty great performance" with the Muppets, and a young Ozawa as a contestant on "What's My Line" in 1963: