Classical music world mourns maestro Ozawa

Orchestras and musicians across the world with ties to renowned Japanese conductor Ozawa Seiji are mourning the passing of the maestro.

Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where Ozawa served as music director for nearly 30 years, observed a minute of silence before their performance on Friday afternoon.

Orchestra CEO Chad Smith paid tribute to Ozawa, saying that "Today's a tough day for those of us who love this orchestra. But more. It's a tough day for all of us who love music. We lost a titan this week."

The orchestra also issued a statement to say that it "remembers Maestro Ozawa not only as a legendary conductor, but also as a passionate mentor for future generations of musicians."

The New York Philharmonic, where Ozawa served as assistant conductor under musical director Leonard Bernstein, released a comment on Instagram. It said, "The New York Philharmonic is honored to have had a rich association with this musical giant, and extends condolences to Seiji's family, friends, and fans."

From Austria, Vienna Philharmonic Chairman Daniel Froschauer said in an online interview with NHK, "I can honestly say, with Seiji Ozawa and the Vienna Philharmonic, there was a love. There was more than a usual relationship. It was a bonding."

As to his expression of music as a conductor, the chairman said Ozawa had no limits.

Froschauer went on to say that Ozawa could do every part of the music, even the difficult task of making it very simple.

Fellow conductor Sado Yutaka said he is mourning the loss of an inspirational figure. Sado currently serves as music director of the New Japan Philharmonic, which was founded by Ozawa and others.

In a telephone interview he said he is in total shock, having admired Ozawa as "the one and only" since childhood. "In fact, I would not have become a conductor if it weren't for the maestro," Sado said.

He added that Ozawa was a conductor with precise techniques and great passions.