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‘An inspiration to me all my life’: BSO music director Andris Nelsons and others remember famed conductor Seiji Ozawa on social media

Ozawa served as BSO music director between 1973 and 2002

Seiji Ojawa conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York on Oct. 15, 1997.CHANG W. LEE/NYT

Legendary longtime Boston Symphony Orchestra music director Seiji Ozawa died at 88 Tuesday at his home in Tokyo. As news spread to the public Friday morning, many prominent individuals and organizations in the arts took to social media to offer tributes and remembrances.

The BSO, where Ozawa served as music director between 1973 and 2002, shared a statement recalling the conductor as a “kind and thoughtful humanitarian; a musical genius who combined a balletic grace at the podium with a prodigious memory . . . and an inveterate lover of all things Boston and its sports teams: Seiji was all these things and much more to his fans around the world.”


Boston-based radio station CRB Classical 99.5 announced plans to air Ozawa recordings throughout the day in his memory, with a special tribute program scheduled to air Friday evening at 8 p.m.

In a post on his account on X, current BSO music director Andris Nelsons called Ozawa “one of the warmest, kindest and most generous people” he had ever met, along with posting a photo of the two together. “He has been an inspiration to me all my life and I will miss him dearly.”

In a post on Instagram, soprano Angela Gheorghiu called collaborating with Ozawa “one of the most treasured memories” of her life as an artist, sharing a story of working with him on Verdi’s “Falstaff” at the Vienna State Opera. Soprano Christine Goerke also took to social media to recall her experience working with Ozawa “one of the greatest gifts of my life,” posting an undated photo of the two sharing a laugh.

Organizations that Ozawa had worked with, including the Vienna Philharmonic (of which he was an honorary member), the Berlin Philharmonic, and the record label Deutsche Grammophon, quickly posted tributes to the conductor. Several artists in Ozawa’s native Japan, including Bach Collegium Japan principal conductor Masato Suzuki, and violinist Moné Hattori, also posted remembrances in Japanese.


A.Z. Madonna can be reached at az.madonna@globe.com. Follow her @knitandlisten.