Seiji Ozawa is a Japanese conductor, particularly known for his interpretations of large-scale late Romantic works.
He is most recognised for his work as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and principal conductor of the Vienna State Opera.
Starting out as a pianist a football injury to his hand caused him to move towards a conducting career. Winning a competition he studied under Herbert Von Karajan until Leonard Bernstein engaged him as assistant conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra.
Successively working with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and then to the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra from 1969 to 1976 Ozawa went on to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and an Emmy Award in 1976.
In 1992 he made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera and since then has gone on to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic on a regular basis.
He has also conducted the New Japan Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, La Scala in Milan and the Vienna Staatsoper.
He has frequently been the subject of criticism as providing "no expression of sound quality" but there is no denying his place as an emminent Asian performer who has achieved fame and recognition in the West.
He is also known for his "sartorial elegance" frequently wearing white turtleneck shirts as apposed to more traditional "conductors dress".