thumbnail of A conversation with...; Seiji Ozawa, part two
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Now resuming the conversation with sage eels our Here is George Strong. Then after your study with Kerry in Berlin you went to New York. Yes. During that time I met my sort of birthday who came to be agreeing with him talk us through the new economy and New York to Hamley him Mrs. Koussevitzky and some as a friend. Mr. Copeland for those people and indeed for me to meet him through he figured three. He is like my mother because I couldn't speak English if there is more I want which I learned in about seven weeks of American life passed through them. She was really great to help you. Yeah I met Mr. Gray strain it was kind of or addition interesting since she announced later Christmastime I got that with a big Christmas present I got the invitation could kind of a contract from New York to be
assistant for Linksys. You know and in that that season was 1961. So if he wanted you. What did your duties and tail there with the philharmonic. I didn't do too much except because you know first my job it was really my first professional as a professional job I get paid every week and things like that but I couldn't do my job because of my language trouble was really three at that time you know that I think that mass produce from anything besides music but I couldn't do anything but to try to let you know if I had two colleagues three men three of us working corners or you know so to open up. And you're American so they didn't get you. I but I conduct with time it shouldn't confort or young people confort turbulent few. And there always was a big thing for me was
they all go through including me went through and through all I went back to planned after three years of absence I mean if you how many do you want peace but who through this man was your first professional appearance in your native all right except of youth student orchestra. And what did you do to remember you. I did my usual me Japanese competitors. But piano concert theme for me if you can explain it. Then after after this a year with the New York Philharmonic you in 163. You came to Chicago during the summer. And then the following year in 1964 65 you were back with the Philharmonic because
Mr. Bernstein was only the absolutes. That's right. He wished he stayed home to write music at the end. So they changed their rules. Usually they have three assistants. If we had different I think they're asked me to stay one you know just on just their glasses their job. It was good to me too because it's so much more than a first time job more conducting like conducting a regular week to you and we had about five guest conductors long period. When I first arrived I threw creeps and I struggled in my cell and told me shippers. So I could work very closely with him. I learned many of that but I do. You attended rehearsal. Yes yes I was in all rehearsals and all concert and went to with them.
And when there's somebody could think I could conduct it with pretense through and they gave me a plan to rehearse for a concert two hour had you opportunities at this time to guest conduct other orchestras Yes. I got I went to Europe I conducted first time Paris orchestra first time learn to sing for me first time I was going to come sing for me. I'm just uncomfortable you know so I went to Pittsburgh to San Francisco because the conducting I don't know who was all in that same period and then in the summer of 1964 was a full time engagement. From here in Chicago you know there are many of us to the right. And then that following Well the following year in 1968 five you began as a full time music director of the Toronto Symphony That's right. So then you are still there and you're in the regular season just finished second season. How long has your season up there.
No it's 32 weeks 32 weeks but we're going to think how many of these weeks do you conduct. I did last year I think 27 and you know before I did twenty four including of course you know related to Europe and we went to see it differently than you know you know I think quite a trip. Is there at a tour every year. Yes we have two three two including Canadian to beat you we thought that would be I thought what a dichotomy. One time you don't need to grow a small city in Ontario Mariel. Yes or beyond. Sometimes we go come back to you and you. Your first appearance here in Chicago in Orchestra Hall was in 1966. Yes at that time you did you did the first Chicago performance of the Ives forthwith
and displayed an even 100 most of it in you know it is this a really tough work to prepare. I think for orchestra very difficult unmasks math to be done by good. OK so first graphic just because so much finger musician so much has been t and redone and. It must be all some ways to recreate the whole idea of how things are. And in the course of your conducting here and abroad you have included in your programs a number of Japanese composers. I wonder if you could tell us something about these I know this summer you are bringing the first must be the first American performance of the concerto by next year and that will be played by a young Japanese cellist you know it's only right there here
is one new Japanese composition that's coming this summer and I know that there have been many others. Yeah you know I started as I started in Paris. So if you hear this piece you will immediately. It's also his early piece 10 years ago already. It is still young and it's still one movement piece to a movement and earth is quite big influenced by French style. Yes but let's get people to tea time quite a big amount of Japanese here for about two years. Oh sure I'd like to I did a few years ago. Came it through the last day I did repeated Can you typically has here it linearly and your memory available. They Sobel just now threatening us because of you
and for me. Mr commute commute through heat about fifty five years old now. Eighth best. To me the best really leading Japanese with this he lived in Tokyo he lives. Told you I don't think he knew about Windows from Japan except one thing how I too need to hold to the UN. Granted they're not American companies. The name is khaki mix for me to carry me through because he teaches one of the Tokyo school halls and I don't think he is. He background is very kind of unusual you know went to music school. He started by him with him and he wrote books you know even sometimes like textbooks no. Is it depicted in the stories story novels.
No I mean you know I think you know you certainly would understand that here. Who'd have thought of her. He laughs and you know he thought just because Koreans by maybe move your family you know who does know there are too many Americans have died here really. When you go on a Japanese man you regard him as the leading Japanese computer and yeah I don't understand you to say a moment ago that that in his music he uses elements of both Western and traditional Japanese know that word. Oh I see you need to always show if you hear his music you don't hear Japanese folk to know anything. But his style is a completely I think with an orchestra because ration everything for me.
If I study his school which I should deeply he's Oriental and Japanese kind of dark and quiet kind of had. And there you know long long phrase or reason is the way you know almost from there's no reason you try to do naughty things and he just finishing his latest piece for New York you know how to make New York you know how many is having 120 fish and recently they ask him to control history and he's writing a finished piece and this piece needs to Japanese a traditional musician soloist one reads sack who had two weeks with bamboo flute looks like you planned it but no lead. There be what be I got relayed BYU through me like you do to it. And you're a
softie through me it's very hard to hear. You may well be right. Very soft because traditionally he's musical he this instrument supposed to be there. Like they'd start telling some story by. He's a composer also musician and writer write a story. And he comes from the garden especially you know the quiet guy in front of those people or code computer people. Played hours and hours and hours. This speaks and this that is and that you played how many times that you played music. He says he's a very weak piece and some things were soft and wished he could do this too soon and check how much you mean the nice mean and this how many Three meant or recently thrown together with the orchestra the first time he did it two years ago interesting analysis about Japan. He did do we
see in the play. And very sick so I was really impressed. It's like he is soft but controlled by power and grace. Who knew. Because a fellow like his son and a man who had low low rates can go quite high but is best in the low and likely agree with you know when you should include if you can hear your breath. Likely to sort of do a room. Next to found your view I thought of that moment. Luke you know really. Big Room. If I did I read crazy this music and I
when I hear that he's writing music for New York you know how many I made telephone call to Tokyo and asking please could this 23 meant together and he said he came and he needed me. And this this composition will be a part of this. Well it would if it was theirs to be performed in November. You know when you conduct. Yes I'm doing is this a program that has other Japanese works on it. No you know there's only one John. You've made recordings. But if you recordings of late and I believe you are planning to record with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra again in the summer. Yes. About two summers ago you recorded the first and third piano concertos you talk with writer Peter Serkin we did do one each summer. Truth time as I go we did I think number three last time that we did number one. What will you be recording this year this year we're planning to do.
Sure but Piano Concerto with him pianist Peter therapy. Why no be construed pictured exhibition maturity and rebel and Britain's pretty Asian young peoples guide to the orchestra through years and variations and if you're going to think person person here in selecting your repertory as a conductor you have such a vast amount of music to choose from you are inclined as as I believe in observing your programs you incline toward a romantic 19th century with a certain amount of classical music and then toward the 20th century. Yeah if we were to sort of weigh the three main heroes and you have children from. How do you go about selecting your repertory. And then how do you go about building the programs that you know
when you have a whole seven week Ravinia Festival which was a huge undertaking a thirty two week season around all here which you can hear what he said and we're used to that. But it's 7 programs this this is just a huge undertaking I don't know what it madness for me because in Toronto I can do anything if I want to go some time limit right there because you budget for it through a musician if you have to do too many milers long walk or swim. It's quite difficult because not too many course I've been able to. I Really Need Of course I have many contact and we have so many guest conductors and they should come with their own piece so I have to do their piece you know. So I know also I didn't want to repeat the same piece. If you see me in doing a programme making my all true big floor a
large paper and scores you know stayed about two weeks like that. And if you make a program one night. Next morning you see that program you might not like it and I usually write that I better should put in a post immediately immediately. Next day you don't send it with a program same way so it's only sometimes by chance though. Yes if you don't bother you you might go that direction. Do you have any particular ways about putting various compositions or composers together which you by which you have found the most more successful so far as your own feelings about this. There is not very easy to sink because I do not know which is good for me. Yet through myself but
so many scores to learn still so. Sometimes I go really crazy with a lot of them. Sometimes I would go crazy with. We had Strauss and lastly as I study lots of Mahler because of everybody doing Mr. Bernstein you don't really think so. That's when I started so much studying I don't and I'm good myself too and sometimes when I get better deal with behaviors that I create in San Francisco i.e. with really crazy off two weeks completely with that piece which really matters to me. And I told I love to play piano was piano my piano bar books out piece. Then suddenly you know if you play national doing music you want to do with
locusts. And I mean it's one thing for me. So I think I need another 10 years to know what is good to me and who will move. Meantime you were doing music from all types of composers all types of study else a lot of things ended up like this. Well I would judge from looking at your programs excuse me and you know I have just for example you or your opening program this year says to me that this is the way I wanted to do it. You you know felt that you wanted to put together this way and I suspect that perhaps other conductors would not have assembled the program in quite the sequence because you open with a look. Yeah. Overture to a fusion IANA lead them to pre-coffee F for
The Piano Concerto Number three and then have to the intermission we turned back in no time to Mozart and for the first and for many years and then you're back into our time we're going to you know stare at your stance here you know and I think this is a very interesting approach to it. It puts so many things together and I think a little bit too maybe. Probably but you think so. A year but I like it. That's good. Sometimes we need big synchrony like Marla grabs take US Ski Beethoven symphony it civil but sometimes we need to think money but really only music sag and if you think only the ones are great music but you know huge sides. So I wanted to know what side of this ear
and also Usually we start very gay overture or noisy overture or Barrios you know those big. But I thought it's nice to start with an outside with a soft slow look over at you when the globe is a beautiful and I think it's one of the beautiful music greets me. When we were doing all progress with five grandchildren. So I would start one of them which are Mr. Genest duty standard three. Earth may be more orthodox idea it might be too graphic hard to get a clue can you commission and 15 if here is me or maybe you know. But turn we talk many times and we decided this way.
Well this is what I meant because I had the feeling. When I looked at it that mystery I had considered this carefully and decided by George this is the way I want to do it. You know as you say someone else might have put the two older works together and the more modern works. After the intermission I imagine inevitably people refer to you in terms of your youth. I take it you don't resent this. I mean yeah I know it's my kind of applicant you can contact at this terrible time because so much school to study you not only conducting but you have to know you know before you make a program you have to know the piece you know to know those piece in Showtime is really crazy. I
did talk to the lead my 0 and Barry and I think he's good. So now it's gone and if you sleep during a sleep you have a nap I'm gone but because you don't think for me there's another window there I know it's a classical piece o thousand of Glasgow prison sleeping in the library. You know when I when I contracted Vienna after going to first about music trying to find house and various reliability I went to a museum with so many hadn't so many try medium or tried not more I won't climb ladders no doubt but he's just not there. I wonder how I don't I don't know the linoleum rather Michael and so many scores and he's it's very interesting too. But you know maybe even I don't see those good before I die. They're crazy right.
How do you excuse me. Do you receive for study. Works by contemporary composers I do think a lot of the score I assumed that this would be done here. I ask if you have someone up there too. I'm speaking now of your position in Canada do you have someone to screen this material for you. Yes I know you don't waste your time on the arms which I have it would not be I had to pass through a beautiful talented composer conductor from three through the nuclear activities will lead Reed school very well. I could try to vary it. He read for me near a hundred schools and I read and I think about 40 25 when you and I pick three schools. And I did for Bernstein Mr. Bernstein did this when you know I had two years I did a
lot for work because for going to stand almost all the young composers tend to his core values and not only from America but from your a media. So I have to read read read read and sometime very thin score pads. But if that it was performed I could hear people too and it was a good experience to me to read so many scored so bad. You know this dinner going to read sometimes a difficult ranking to you know when it was a dangerous thing for this job for my or my assistant. If very I had an experience to come porter who had a really good kind but who doesn't know how to put it together you know the orchestration is look so silly sometimes. But so if you learn quick if you have a you might be dropped out of school which is a great
shame terrible thing. Like human ocus Lucian robots human terrible isn't it. And then through impossible. So always I must kill myself. That orchestration is not the most important because if you've counted enough if somebody comes from his peace he will know immediately what's wrong with the orchestration. So next piece might be a completely different orchestration at any rate. So back to the most important and most dangerous for us to do this one so you can look for the idea. Your thoughts on this only thing you must know these composers. Credit and ability. And sometimes we can't perform but we ask send an underscore. Then we know about him because the only way to do school and sometimes very difficult jobs. True in the case of shoot one 100 learned
Bernstein's contention that actually should one have been blamed for a number of sins which would be committed by others to his music. Didn't he know a couple of seasons ago undertake a performance out for symphonies in their original recording you know without the adult arrangements of the numerous conductors and that's right. That's was a great idea too. I don't it was not bad at all. It's very good. But had to read them very carefully. Orchestra class no of course we know by ear what should be what kind of sounds would be so that we can make ourselves musician ourself we can do better. Look I think it's a balance. And you know he jumped from one if you meant another Minardi which is very difficult you know to to maintain.
Yes. I think the US has been a delightful conversation and we're very grateful to you for joining us. We'll be looking forward to hearing your performances in the summer at Ravinia and in the summers to come. Thank you very much and I could put the I'm thinking with his Symphony Orchestra thread and think you know Chris Rock played so well when we went through once which conscient to Madison to Madison on the one to herself about two miles from her including coffee break. I did a solo piece me and Chicago my Kratom this record. He laid great to focus. This is been a conversation with Seiji Ozawa music director of the Toradol Symphony Orchestra and of the Ravinia First of all on Chicago's North Shore participating where Aaron Parcells professor of music theory at Northwestern
University's School of Music and program annotator for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. And George Stone program director of Zenith radio corporation's radio station WEF am this program was distributed by national educational radio. That is the National Education already on that work.
A conversation with...
Seiji Ozawa, part two
Producing Organization
WEFM (Radio station : Chicago, Ill.)
Zenith Radio Corporation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-s17ss99r).
Episode Description
This program, the first of two parts, features Seiji Ozawa, Music Director, Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Series Description
Eminent musicians discuss their careers and the art of music. The series is co-hosted by Arrand Parsons of Northwestern University School of Music and George Stone, WEFM program director.
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Host: Parsons, Arrand
Host: Stone, George Steingoetter, 1920-
Interviewee: Ozawa, Seiji, 1935-
Producing Organization: WEFM (Radio station : Chicago, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Zenith Radio Corporation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-49-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:35
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “A conversation with...; Seiji Ozawa, part two,” 1967-12-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “A conversation with...; Seiji Ozawa, part two.” 1967-12-04. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: A conversation with...; Seiji Ozawa, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from