BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Symphony Orchestra asks the music world to celebrate the 85th birthday of former conductor Seiji Ozawa on Tuesday.
The orchestra encourages fans to honor his birthday on social media with the hashtag #happybirthdayseiji.
As part of the celebration, Mayor Marty Walsh issued a proclamation proclaiming “Seiji Ozawa Day in the City of Boston” Tuesday.
Ozawa is the longest-serving conductor in Boston Symphony history, holding the title of Music Director for 29 years from 1973 to 2002.
He has also been with the New Japan Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
But Ozawa, who lives in Tokyo with his family, said in a written statement, “To me, Boston is like my second home. I love and miss all my colleagues and friends at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. “
Ozawa holds a special place in the hearts and minds of colleagues around the world, orchestra president and CEO Mark Volpe said in a written statement.
“Those of us lucky enough to know him and to have been present to the fantastic music he produces from an orchestra have been blinded by his conductor, often described as balletic and always without score,” said Volpe.
Ozawa announced in 2010 that he had esophageal cancer, but the Boston Symphony said his health is currently “stable.”