For 32 years, the NHK Symphony, considered by many to be Japan’s best orchestra, and Seiji Ozawa, by far its most renowned conductor, played not a single note together.
The feud took place so long ago that Ozawa himself doesn’t recall all the details. What he remembers is the humiliation of showing up at a concert hall for a scheduled performance, baton in hand, to find no musicians and no audience.
On Monday night, Ozawa let bygones be bygones and led the NHK Symphony in a charity concert for disabled musicians in Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
Tickets, at $170 apiece, had sold out in 25 minutes.