Japan’s best known conductor, Seiji Ozawa, stated on Tuesday he would come back on stage next year, after recovering from several health problems, including pneumonia.
He said one week earlier he had taken the “extremely difficult” decision of taking some time off to recover, but he did not indicate a specific period.
“Up until now I had too much faith in my own physical strength and ended up making trouble for everybody,” Ozawa said in an interview for the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. “I will take a different path to rehabilitation and from next spring on, little by little resume my activities.”
He explained he had a hard time admitting to himself the problems he was having. “Even if I didn’t feel anything during performances, once they ended I was always terribly exhausted. A full schedule in that state would be impossible,” Ozawa said.
Ozawa, formerly a Vienna State Opera musical director and conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in January 2010 and completed treatment by the end of the year.
He underwent endoscopic lower back surgery in January 2011 and was diagnosed with pneumonia in February 2012.
Ozawa is one of the first Asian classical musicians that reached global recognition. He founded the Saito Kinen Festival in an effort to revitalize classical music in Japan.