Tuesday’s (11/2) Agence France-Presse reports, “Conductor Seiji Ozawa, recovering from cancer, on Tuesday became the first Japanese to be made an honorary member of the prestigious Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. As the orchestra toured Japan, its chairman Clemens Hellsberg handed the 75-year-old maestro a certificate of honorary membership in a ceremony at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. ‘As a token of our love for Mr. Ozawa, we present you with this honor,’ Hellsberg said. ‘We wish that this honour will help you, the maestro, get better as much as possible.’ Ozawa—who was musical director of parent organization the Vienna State Opera for eight years until last June—appeared on the verge of tears onstage and said he had learned much from the orchestra. … He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in January and returned to the stage briefly, conducting a Japanese orchestra, in September after surgery and several months of treatment.”

Posted November 2, 2010