It fills us with incredible sadness that Seiji Ozawa – one of the greatest musical minds of our time and ultimate master of sensuous sound – has passed away. His rich and lasting recording legacy on Deutsche Grammophon has spanned over half a century, featured leading orchestras across three continents and encompassed musical traditions as varied as the American, Austro-German, French and Russian schools.
Deutsche Grammophon President Dr. Clemens Trautmann comments in a personal note: “It was Seiji Ozawa’s legendary ballet recordings of “Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra that nurtured my musical passion as a child; and later as a music student Seiji Ozawa’s groundbreaking interpretations of then rarely performed works by Berlioz, Dutillieux, Fauré or Messiaen opened up an entirely new cosmos to me – like they did to a wide global audience of music lovers. The natural elegance and subtly glowing energy were palpable throughout all of his recordings and performances, even in the last few years when we were so privileged to celebrate Deutsche Grammophon’s 120th anniversary with Seiji Ozawa and his Saito Kinen Orchestra at Suntory Hall.
“The warmth, generosity and sense of humour that Seiji Ozawa radiated in personal encounters and conversations are among the most memorable experiences for anyone who had the pleasure to meet him, and he inspired so many young talents with his aura, advice and selfless support. He will be very much missed.”