Japanese conductor Ozawa has oesophageal cancer: office

TOKYO - Acclaimed Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa said Thursday he had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and had cancelled his schedule for at least six months to undergo treatment.
Ozawa, the 74-year-old musical director at the Vienna State Opera, said he was diagnosed with the illness in a medical check-up last month.
He will cancel his engagements -- starting with a concert at the Vienna State Opera on January 15 -- until at least June, but said he hoped to make a full recovery by August.

Seiji Ozawa (AFP/File/Pierre Verdy)
Seiji Ozawa (AFP/File/Pierre Verdy)
"I really am sorry for the audience and also for Vienna," Ozawa told a press conference in Tokyo.
"Some people must have already left for Vienna, to listen to Figaro," he said, referring to his cancelled engagement this month to perform "Les noces de Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)".
Ozawa's cancer was found in its early stage, his chief doctor Masato Okada said at the same news conference.
"He will be hospitalised and undergo the treatment," Okada said, adding that the type of treatment, including possible surgery, was still being decided.
Ozawa pledged to return to work in time to conduct an orchestra in August at the month-long Saito Kinen classical music festival in the central Japanese city of Matsumoto, which he attends every summer.
About 30 engagements are to be cancelled, including with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in February and March, the Vienna Philharmonic in May and the Berlin Philharmonic in June.
Ozawa has also pulled out of conducting the farewell concert in June for Ioan Holender, general manager of the Vienna State Opera, but said he still hoped to attend.
"I believe my treatment won't really need six months," Ozawa said. "I will be there for the concert for Holender. If I cannot conduct, I will sit in the same box with him, for sure."
The maestro, who will also conclude his tenure at the Vienna State Opera in June, has suffered ailing health in recent years, most recently undergoing emergency surgery for a hernia last year.
He has had a long international career, spending nearly three decades at the Boston Symphony Orchestra before moving to Vienna in 2002.

Friday, January 8th 2010

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