NEW YORK, March 25 /PRNewswire/ --
- Acclaimed ensemble embark on orchestra tour of China this spring
The world-renowned conductor, Seiji Ozawa, is taking his prestigious Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku on an orchestra tour of China this April. Now in its 10th year, the Ongaku-juku is comprised of Japan and China's most promising student musicians who are given the unique opportunity to perform and learn with world-class professionals. Since its inception, the Ongaku-juku's concerts have been a highlight of the classical music calendar, playing to critical acclaim across Japan. Born in China, Seiji Ozawa has a strong artistic connection to the country of his birth, where he frequently returns for prestigious conducting engagements. The Ongaku-juku China tour will launch on April 13 at the Tianjin Grand Theatre, Tianjin, and continue on to the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing on April 15 and the Shanghai Grand Theatre, Shanghai on April 17. The repertoire will include Beethoven: Symphony 7 and Maurice Ravel: Ma Mere L'Oye. The tour will also feature two performances in Japan.
In 2000, Seiji Ozawa founded the Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku (music academy) with the goal of nurturing young musicians through a concentrated period of music study, particularly in opera. The students, aged between their late teens and early twenties, gain the unparalleled experience of immersive training. This training reflects the real practice of playing in a professional orchestra with the added benefit of receiving excellent coaching from Seiji Ozawa and the project's renowned instrumentalists. Opera is the main focus of their work but aside from this year's orchestra project, they also performed Mahler: Symphony 2 in 2006. The ensemble's numerous opera productions have received popular attention from audiences and critics for the superlative training of the young musicians. This year's opera project will take place from July 20-August 1, when the group will perform Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel in Japan.
Seiji Ozawa is currently the music director of the Vienna State Opera, a position he has held since 2002. His other historic residencies include the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony (where he was music director for 29 years) and the Vienna Philharmonic. In 1992, Seiji Ozawa founded the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto as a tribute to his teacher and mentor, the late Hideo Saito. The festival grew naturally from the success of the Saito Kinen Orchestra (SKO), which he founded on the 10th Anniversary of Hideo Saito's death in 1984. Ozawa continues to tour internationally with the Saito Kinen Orchestra, as well as regularly conducting the New Japan Philharmonic and major European orchestras. Ozawa has founded other teaching institutions, including the Swiss Academy and the Saito Kinen Chamber Music Study Group for Young People, with the aim of fostering classical music training around the world.
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