Seiji Ozawa | Learn Real English

Seiji Ozawa | Learn Real English

Learn Real English | Seiji Ozawa

Seiji Ozawa, the world-renowned transformative and captivating who lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra for nearly three decades, passed away in February of 2024.

In this lesson, we’ll see the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s tribute to their fallen leader and hear some memories from Seiji Ozawa himself. Let’s hear what was said, study the key vocabulary, and learn how to effectively use English.



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Seiji Ozawa Transcript

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Learn Real English; Culture & Music: Seiji Ozawa Passed Away
Seiji Ozawa Conducting an Orchestra

Conducting is very strange profession. I don’t make sound. Orchestra make sound and that most important.

Today’s a tough day for those of us that love this orchestra, but more it’s a tough day for all of us who love music. We lost a titan this week.

Seiji Ozawa died on Tuesday, surrounded by family in Tokyo after a long period of illness.

But instead of focusing on that end, I wanna talk about those eight decades of glorious, thrilling, deeply felt music making that he brought to our city, to our state, and to our world.

So today, we’re going to offer a small gift to Seiji’s memory. Karina and the BSO will play a work dear to him. A work he so often offered as a musical farewell to his friends lost during his lifetime. We’ll play Bach’s Air on the G String from the third suite.

  • Do you think of yourself as Asian or, or as a Westerner?  

I… I am very Japanese. Um, some Japanese think I’m not so Japanese but, um, I think I’m very Japanese. I love Japanese food. I love Japanese drink. And, um, the way I sleep is, like you know, on the floor.

  • When you were a very young man, in fact when you came back to conduct in Japan, some of the musicians found you a little hard to take.

Yes. Was difficult. Um, one day I think I was, um… I didn’t know how to do it and I was very young. And, um… So I was too hard or I was short temper. I was too young for that job and they boycotted me. And, um… You know, if orchestra boycotted the conductor. What can you do? Conductor cannot do anything.

  • By yourself.


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