The Japanese conductor, Seiji Ozawa, enjoyed one of the longest stewardships in the history of classical music. He was the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 29 years, which is an accomplishment only a couple of conductors have matched. Some may argue that his tenure was too long because conductors only have a shelf life of ten years…Rubbish.
Ozawa had a phenomenal memory and a incredible array of gestures that allowed him to physically portray the music to the musicians. In fact, he was able to mimic any conductor with frightening accuracy which, aside from being a great party trick, allowed him to be an excellent teacher. Here is a glimpse of Ozawa’s ability to teach in both of these documentaries.
One of the greatest examples of his endless supply of the perfect gesture can be seen in this great performance of Orff’s Carmina burana.
Ozawa conducts like a panther on the hunt during Beethoven’s Symphony №5.