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During the course of a Vienna Philharmonic tour to Asia, an open rehearsal took place at Suntory Hall in Tokyo at which Seiji Ozawa conducted Beethoven's "Egmont" Overture. After the performance, Maestro Ozawa remarked that "from the first note on, the orchestra and I understood each other's intentions exactly. I am completely overwhelmed. Once again it made me aware of what a special orchestra this is!"
Based on music of Beethoven and Bernstein, first violinist Erich Schagerl wrote a special birthday composition which the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach performed as a surprise for Seiji Ozawa on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
The chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic, Andreas Großbauer, emphasized that, "the Vienna Philharmonic looks back with gratitude and admiration upon a long artistic partnership with Seiji Ozawa. His outstanding work as conductor and director of the Vienna State Opera also contributed significantly to Austria's musical landscape.
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