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2024Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival (2024OMF) Official Program Announcement

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2024 Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival (2024OMF) Dates set for August 9 (Fri) – September 4 (Wed)!
Mo. Nodoka Okisawa appointed OMF Principal Guest Conductor

*The festival dates have been changed from the initial announcement.

 As the Saito Kinen Orchestra reaches a milestone of 40 years in 2024, the season of the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival is coming upon us.
 The origin of the Saito Kinen Orchestra (SKO) dates back to September 1984 when conductor Seiji Ozawa conceived the Hideo Saito Memorial Concerts in memory of Hideo Saito, who was his mentor, a great educator, and co-founder of Toho Gakuen School of Music, gathering fellow pupils of Saito who were active as musicians around the world on the tenth anniversary of his passing. SKO went on to tour Europe and the US in 1987, 1989, 1990, and 1991. And then in September 1992, Seiji Ozawa launched the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto as its director. In 2015, the festival was renamed Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival (OMF), and marked its 30th anniversary in 2022.
 To commemorate this 30th anniversary, Festival Director Seiji Ozawa and SKO in collaboration with JAXA broadcasted live orchestra music to the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time in history, making the “ONE EARTH MISSION” a great success. Seiji Ozawa’s final public performance as conductor was delivered to outer space.
 Festival Director Seiji Ozawa passed away in February 2024, but he had been envisioning the future structure of OMF for some time, deciding the conductors and program for this summer in consultation with SKO Advisory Committee members. This season, Nodoka Okisawa and Andris Nelsons will return to Matsumoto. And for the first time in the history of the festival, Ozawa appointed Nodoka Okisawa as OMF principal guest conductor; she will continue to build a relationship with SKO moving forward.
 Andris Nelsons will conduct an ambitious program featuring the Brahms complete symphonies. This program was proposed by Nelsons in consideration of the history of SKO, while embodying Ozawa’s expectations. The Brahms complete symphonies were performed during the early SKO tours starting in the 1980s and are pivotal repertoire that shaped the direction of SKO.

 The following are comments left by Festival Director Seiji Ozawa at the end of January 2024.

I cannot believe that it has been 40 years since the Saito Kinen Orchestra was started!

Meeting Ms. Okisawa and Andris in 2022 were incredibly fortunate and wonderful events for me. As I immersed myself in the music created by the two during rehearsals and concerts with SKO, I couldn’t help but recall how my heart fluttered, like at the beginning of adventures in my youth—such as the day I realized while on a cargo ship to Europe that the sunset is stunning no matter where you are in the world; and when I began my long journey at the Ravinia Festival, Tanglewood, and Boston. The exhilaration and thrill of such times have been vividly rekindled.

This year, the festival and Matsumoto will take a large step towards a new era, which I truly look forward to.

Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival Director

A Message from Mo. Nodoka Okisawa

As one of the countless musicians around the world who are in awe of Seiji Ozawa’s music and way of life, I am deeply honored and fortunate to return to this special music festival.

The trembling excitement and exhilaration when the curtains rose to Le nozze di Figaro in summer 2022, and the sensation of “I’m so glad to be alive!” that surged in me at the conclusion of all performances were more impactful than anything I had felt before. As I immersed myself in the breath of the music abiding in the Saito Kinen Orchestra, it felt as if my body was floating. I will forever feel encouraged by how Seiji Ozawa kindly attended and watched us from the first day of rehearsals to the final performance, taking my hands and offering words of support and appreciation.

The two giant stars of Hideo Saito, the great educator, and his pupil Seiji Ozawa, who demonstrated that Saito-sensei’s teachings were universal and ignited great fervor. It will be my mission to pass on their brilliance to the next generation, and I will dedicate my heart and soul into continuing to create new inspiration.

A Message from Mo. Andris Nelsons

Maestro Seiji Ozawa was a wonderful role model, an incomparable leader, and a great friend. While we are still grieving this great loss, it is testament to Seiji’s generosity and clarity of vision that his beloved Matsumoto Festival will not only take place this year, but act as a reminder of his enduring legacy, as well as a tribute to his inspiring role as an ambassador for music all over the world.

I am greatly looking forward to returning to Matsumoto, this time during the festival this summer. As part of my last visit to Matsumoto I had the enormous privilege of working on Mahler's Ninth Symphony with the brilliant musicians of the Saito Kinen Orchestra. Tackling a work of this emotional range and musical intricacy was a fantastic occasion to create a lasting bond with the orchestra and it will be a great pleasure to continue our relationship with a complete cycle of Brahms symphonies this summer. I am aware of the significant role these symphonic masterworks have played in the orchestra’s history, and it is an honour to rediscover this beautiful music together. Brahms’s symphonies are imbued with such energy and vitality, and I have no doubt they will perfectly underscore a memorable summer in Matsumoto.

At OMF this year, we will dedicate all performances with heartfelt gratitude and respect for the accomplishments of festival founder Seiji Ozawa, who shall retain the title of festival director.


Orchestra Concert

Orchestra Concert Program A

Aug. 10 (Sat) 15:00
Aug. 11 (Sun) 15:00
Kissei Bunka Hall (Nagano-ken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan)
S ¥20,000 A ¥16,000 B ¥12,000 C ¥8,000


Mendelssohn: Ein Sommernachtstraum, Op. 61 excerpts
R. Strauss: Don Juan, symphonic poem, Op. 20
R. Strauss: Vier letzte Lieder*

Saito Kinen Orchestra
Conductor: Nodoka Okisawa(OMF Principal Guest Conductor)[Biography]
Soprano Solo: Elza van den Heever*

Nodoka-Okisawa
Nodoka Okisawa
© Felix Broede
Elza-Van-Den-Heever
Elza van den Heever
© Dario Acosta

Orchestra Concert Program B

Aug. 16 (Fri) 19:00
Aug. 17 (Sat) 15:00
Kissei Bunka Hall (Nagano-ken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan)
S ¥22,000 A ¥18,000 B ¥14,000 C ¥10,000 

Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

Saito Kinen Orchestra
Conductor: Andris Nelsons [Biography]

Andris-Nelsons
Andris Nelsons
© Marco Borggreve

Orchestra Concert Program C

Aug. 21 (Wed) 19:00
Aug. 22 (Thu) 16:00
Kissei Bunka Hall (Nagano-ken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan)
S ¥22,000 A ¥18,000 B ¥14,000 C ¥10,000

Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Saito Kinen Orchestra
Conductor: Andris Nelsons [Biography]

Andris-Nelsons
Andris Nelsons
© Marco Borggreve

Opera

Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra OMF Opera
Puccini: Gianni Schicchi

One Act, in Italian with Japanese subtitles

Aug. 25 (Sun) 15:00
Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre Main Hall
S ¥6,000 A ¥4,000 B ¥2,000
U25: Half of each price
*U-25 tickets are only available via OMF Web Ticket.

Conductor: Nodoka Okisawa (OMF Principal Guest Conductor) [Biography]
Director: David Kneuss
Set & Costume Design: John Michael Deegan & Sarah G. Conly

Gianni Schicchi: Hidekazu Machi
Lauretta: Rena Fujii
Zita: Mayumi Makino
Rinuccio: Takamasa Sawahara
Gherardo: Shingo Takabatake
Nella: Misako Beppu
Betto: Yuichiro Ichikawa
Simone: Yasushi Hirano
Marco: Toshiaki Komada
La Ciesca: Shoko Sogo
And more

Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra

Okisawa-Nodoka
Nodoka Okisawa
© Felix Broede
David-Kneuss
David Kneuss
omf-opera1
© 大窪道治 2018OMF

Chamber Concerts

Chamber Concert I

Aug. 12 (Mon/Holiday) 15:00
The Harmony Hall
¥6,000 U-25 ¥3,000 (All seats reserved)

Chamber Concert II

Aug. 18 (Sun) 15:00
The Harmony Hal
¥6,000 U-25 ¥3,000 (All seats reserved)

Chamber Concert III

Aug. 24 (Sat) 15:00
The Harmony Hal
¥6,000 U-25 ¥3,000 (All seats reserved)

*Further details will be announced in due course.
*U-25 tickets are limited to 100 seats and are only available via OMF Web Ticket.


OMF Chamber Music Master Class - Woodwind Ensemble-

Since 1996, chamber music study groups have been held for various ensembles, with the focused training camp format generating excellent results every year.
For 2024, the theme is Woodwind Ensemble. Members of Saito Kinen Orchestra will provide intensive training over the course of one week at Okushiga-Kogen to young artists who have been chosen by audition from Japan and abroad. We will have concerts in Okushiga and Matsumoto to show their growth.

Aug. 9 (Fri) 15:00
Agata no Mori Bunka Kaikan Hall
¥1,000(General Admisson)

© 大窪道治 2007SKF

Educational Program

*This program is intended for educational purposes only. No entry to general public.

Opera for Children

Opera performances intended for first year secondary school students of Nagano prefecture. This year we will present Puccini: "Gianni Schicchi". About 4,600 students from 61 secondary schools in the prefecture will join the performance.

Puccini: "Gianni Schicchi"

Aug. 26 (Mon) 11:00 / 15:00
Aug. 27 (Tue) 11:00 / 15:00
Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre Main Hall

Conductor: Nodoka Okisawa(OMF Principal Guest Conductor)[Biography]
Director: David Kneuss
Set & Costume Design: John Michael Deegan & Sarah G. Conly

Gianni Schicchi: Hidekazu Machi
Lauretta: Rena Fujii
Zita: Mayumi Makino
Rinuccio: Takamasa Sawahara
Gherardo: Shingo Takabatake
Nella: Misako Beppu
Betto: Yuichiro Ichikawa
Simone: Yasushi Hirano
Marco: Toshiaki Komada
La Ciesca: Shoko Sogo
And more

Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra

Opera-for-Children
© 大窪道治 2018OMF
Okisawa-Nodoka
Nodoka Okisawa
© Felix Broede

Concert for Children

Concerts intended for Nagano Prefecture elementary school sixth grade students, delivered by Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra. In 2024 about 8,300 students from 174 schools will join the concerts in Matsumoto and Ina city.

Beethoven:Symphony No. 7 A major Op.92

Sep. 2 (Mon) 11:00 / 14:00
Kissei Bunka Hall (Nagano-ken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan)
Sep. 3 (Tue) 11:00 / 14:00
Nagano-ken Ina Bunka Kaikan
Sep. 4 (Wed) 11:00 / 14:00
Kissei Bunka Hall (Nagano-ken Matsumoto Bunka Kaikan)

Conductor: Carl St. Clair
Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra

Concert-for-Children
Carl-St-Clair
Carl St. Clair

※The entire festival lineup will be announced at a later date.
※ The information in this press release is current as of February 22, 2024. It is subject to change or update. Please check the OMF official website for the latest information.
※ Taxes are included in the ticket price.

TICKET SALES
Tickets go on sale June 8 (Sat) 10:00 AM (JST)
via OMF Web Ticket and Ticket Agencies
●From this year, there will be no in-person ticket sales at Sogo Taiiku Kan (Matsumoto) on the first day.
Tickets information will be announced on the OMF official website at a later date.
Organized by: Saito Kinen Foundation / Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival Executive Committee