Performance Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | 8 PM

Saito Kinen Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Kick off JapanNYC at Carnegie Hall with Artistic Director Seiji Ozawa leading the orchestra he co-founded in 1984 to honor his mentor, Hideo Saito. This orchestra is among the best you’ll hear, and on this concert they showcase two Japanese artists: the spellbinding Uchida and composer Gondai.

Please note that Mr. Shimono will conduct the Gondai and Beethoven works.


  • Mitsuko Uchida, Piano
  • Saito Kinen Orchestra
    Seiji Ozawa, Music Director and Conductor
  • Tatsuya Shimono, Conductor


  • ATSUHIKO GONDAI Decathexis (US Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto)
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor
  • BRAHMS Symphony No. 1

  • Program is approximately 2 hours, including one intermission


  • Mitsuko Uchida

    Mitsuko Uchida is a performer who brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own search for truth and beauty. She is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven, both in the concert hall and on CD, but she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern, and Boulez for a new generation of listeners. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and The Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including the Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. Among many current projects, Ms. Uchida has recently been recording a selection of Mozart's piano concertos with The Cleveland Orchestra, directing from the piano.

    Highlights this season include performances with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Sir Colin Davis, a tour of Japan with The Cleveland Orchestra, performances with Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti, a European tour with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, and the first part of a Beethoven cycle (that spans two seasons) with the London Symphony Orchestra. She also embarks on a solo recital tour through the US and Europe, song recitals with Ian Bostridge, and concerts at the Salzburg Festival.

    Ms. Uchida performs with the world's finest orchestras and musicians. She was a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist in 2002-2003. She has been featured in the Concertgebouw's Carte Blanche series, where she collaborated with the Hagen Quartet, The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as directing a performance of Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire from the piano. Ms. Uchida has also been artist-in-residence at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and with the Berliner Philharmoniker, where she performed a series of chamber music concerts and a Beethoven cycle of piano concertos with Sir Simon Rattle.

    Mitsuko Uchida has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to aiding the development of young musicians and is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. She is also Co-Director, with Richard Goode, of the Marlboro Music Festival. In June 2009, Ms. Uchida was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
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  • Saito Kinen Orchestra

    Saito Kinen Orchestra was founded in September 1984 when Seiji Ozawa and Kazuyoshi Akiyama organized a special concert series to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hideo Saito's death. Mentor to both of these well-known conductors, Professor Saito is best remembered as co-founder of the Toho Gakuen School of Music, one of Japan's leading music institutions. Under the leadership of Mr. Ozawa and Mr. Akiyama, more than 100 of Professor Saito's former students assembled in Japan for that original series of performances.

    In 1987, Saito Kinen made its first official tour of Europe. Four years later, in 1991, the orchestra made its US debut at the opening concert of Carnegie Hall's 101st season. The following year, Saito Kinen Orchestra became the centerpiece of Mr. Ozawa's first annual Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, located in the Japanese Alps. Several years later, the festival featured special commemorative performances in tribute to Tōru Takemitsu-the spiritual pillar of the festival-after the composer's death in 1996.

    The Saito Kinen Orchestra concluded its series of Beethoven recordings in 2002 with the composer's Ninth Symphony. In May 2004, the orchestra embarked on its seventh European tour.

    Two years later, the festival celebrated its 15th anniversary and welcomed Alan Gilbert as guest conductor. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Takemitsu's death, 2006 also featured a selection of the composer's works in performances throughout the season. The following year, soprano Renée Fleming joined the Saito Kinen Orchestra for the world premiere of Henri Dutilleux's Le temps l'horloge.

    Seiji Ozawa

    Born in 1935 in China to Japanese parents, Seiji Ozawa started piano lessons at an early age. After graduating from Seijo Junior High School in Tokyo, he studied conducting under the late Hideo Saito at the Toho Gakuen School of Music, graduating with first prizes in composition and conducting. In 1959, Mr. Ozawa won first prize at the International Competition for Orchestra Conductors and was invited to the Tanglewood Festival by Charles Münch. The following year, he won Tanglewood Music Center's highest honor, the Koussevitzky Prize for outstanding student conductor.

    While a student of Herbert von Karajan, Mr. Ozawa came to the attention of Leonard Bernstein and was appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic under Mr. Bernstein for the 1961-1962 season. In 1964, he became music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Ravinia Festival, a position he held for five summers. That same year, Mr. Ozawa became the music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where he stayed for four seasons.

    Mr. Ozawa became the Tanglewood Festival's artistic director in 1970; in December of that year, he accepted the post of conductor and music director of the San Francisco Symphony. He retired from San Francisco in 1976, but returned the following season as a music advisor. In 1973, Mr. Ozawa became the 13th music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he stayed for 29 years.

    In 1984, Mr. Ozawa and Kazuyoshi Akiyama formed an orchestra to commemorate the late Japanese music educator, Hideo Saito. Saito Kinen Orchestra officially commenced its activities in 1987, and in 1992 became the cornerstone of Mr. Ozawa's artistic dream to found Japan's first international music festival: the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto.

    Mr. Ozawa's achievements have earned him an honorary doctorate from Harvard University; membership in the Académie des Beaux-Arts; the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class; the Suntory Music Prize; and Officier de la Légion d'Honneur. In 2008, the Emperor decorated him with the Order of Culture, Japan's highest honor. In November 2011, he became the first Japanese to be granted honorary membership to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

    The year 2000 marked the beginning of Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku (Seiji Ozawa Music Academy). Its productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Die Fledermaus, La bohème, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Carmen have received popular attention from audiences and critics impressed by the progress shown by the academy's young musicians.

    In addition, Mr. Ozawa continues to perform with the New Japan Philharmonic, an orchestra with which he has worked closely since its founding; and also advises the Mito Chamber Orchestra.
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  • Tatsuya Shimono

    Tatsuya Shimono graduated from the Kagoshima University, and furthered his artistic development at the prestigious Toho Gakuen School of Music, and in master classes with Myung-Whung Chung and Yuri Temirkanov at Italy's Accademia Musicale Chigiana.

    Returning to his native Japan in 1997, Mr. Shimono served as assistant conductor of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra. Two years later, on a scholarship from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, he moved to Europe to complete his studies at the Vienna Musikhochschule, where he nourished his passion for the great German repertoire. Mr. Shimono achieved international recognition in 2001 when he was awarded First Prize at France's Festival International de Musique Besançon Competition for Young Conductors.

    Mr. Shimono quickly became a regular guest conductor with all of the major Japanese orchestras, including the NHK Symphony, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Sapporo Symphony, Sendai Philharmonic, Osaka Philharmonic, Kyoto Symphony, and Hiroshima Symphony. He currently serves as the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra's Resident Conductor-a post that was specially created for him. In August 2008, Mr. Shimono made his debut at the Saito Kinen Festival at the invitation of Seiji Ozawa. He has also performed with the Orchestre Pasdeloup, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.

    For his outstanding musical activities, Tatsuya Shimono is the recipient of many accolades, including the Idemitsu and the Akeo Watanabe Music awards, the Nippon Steel Music Award, and the Hideo Saito Memorial Fund Award.
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JapanNYC Lead Sponsors are Epson Corporation; Mizuho Securities USA Inc.; Nomura Holding America Inc. and Nomura America Foundation; Kotaro ONO, The Chairman of The ONO Group; ROHM Co., Ltd. and Rohm Music Foundation; Sony Corporation; and Yoko Nagae Ceschina.

Supporting Sponsors are Deloitte LLP; Mitsubishi International Corporation; Suntory Holdings Limited and Suntory Hall; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Toshiba Corporation; and Toyota.

With additional funding from Aladdin Capital Holdings LLC; Asian Cultural Council; The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.; GWFF USA Inc.; ITOCHU International Inc.; J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York; Kawasaki Good Times Foundation; The NY Mets Foundation; Nihon Unisys, Ltd.; Nippon Express Foundation, Inc.; Nippon Life Insurance Company; Hiroko Onoyama and Ken Sugawara; Seiko Instruments Inc.; Subaru of America, Inc.; and Sumitomo Corporation of America Foundation.

With special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan; Japan Tourism Agency; Japan National Tourism Organization; the Japan Foundation; and the Consulate-General of Japan in New York.


Beethoven Concerto No. 3 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 37 (III. Rondo. Allegro)
Mitsuko Uchida, Piano / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Kurt Sanderling, Conductor

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This performance is sponsored by Nomura Holding America Inc.