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Seiji Ozawa, Saito Kinen Orchestra, and Britten's War Requiem

Festival Artistic Director Seiji Ozawa conducts his Saito Kinen Orchestra in a much anticipated performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem on December 18 as part of JapanNYC. The monumental work has become a core part of Maestro Ozawa's repertoire and one that has great personal meaning for him.

Commissioned in 1958 to celebrate the consecration of the new cathedral at Coventry, built to replace the one destroyed by Luftwaffe air raids during World War II, Britten used the opportunity to write a large-scale composition embodying his deeply held pacifist and humanitarian beliefs. Completed in late 1961 and first performed on May 30, 1962 the result, War Requiem, is regarded by many as his masterpiece in the non-operatic sphere.

For this Stern Auditorium / Pereleman Stage performance the orchestra will be joined by the SKF Matsumoto Choir, SKF Matsumoto Children's Chorus, and Ritsuyukai Choir, and soloists Christine Goerke, soprano, Anthony Dean Griffey, tenor, and Matthias Goerne, baritone.

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