Seiji Ozawa has conducted the traditional New Year's Concert in the Vienna Musikverein in 2002. He was born on September 1, 1935 in China, and in 1953 he entered the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, initially studying the piano. Having injured both hands playing rugby, he was obliged to abandon his piano studies and turned to conducting and composition.After a number of engagements as conductor in Japan, Seiji Ozawa decided to continue his studies in Europe. In 1959, he won the international conductors competition in Besancon, France.
As a student under Herbert von Karajan in Berlin, Seiji Ozawa attracted the attention of Leonard Bernstein, who made him his assistant at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1961/62.Seiji Ozawa also works together with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France and the London Philharmonia Orchestra.
Seiji Ozawa made his debut at the Vienna State Opera House in May 20, 1988, with a new production of "Eugen Onegin". His first premier there was "Ernani" in 1998. Seiji Ozawa has been the Music Director at the Vienna State Opera House since the 2002/2003 season.