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“To perform at the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto is a truly valuable experience”

LANXESS supports music education to nurture talented young musicians around the world. On of the music initiatives for the youth LANXESS is involved in Japan, is the support of the Opera for Young People, an important feature of the annual Saito Kinen Festival held in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Prior to the performance starting on Sep 6 2012, LANXESS interviewed the conductor, Naohiro Totsuka

LANXESS: Maestro Totsuka thank you for your time. How is to work with Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Orchestra?

Totsuka: More than anything, I feel that this orchestra really makes pure and beautiful music. In addition to musicians, the Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-Juku trains young singers, and the current singers are wonderful.

LANXESS: You studied with Maestro Ozawa-was this an important part of your musical development?

Totsuka: I trained with Seiji Ozawa, the most famous Japanese musician in the world, starting when I was in university. It was an extremely valuable experience for me.

LANXESS: How can you pass on your musical experience to the young musicians playing in the orchestra and the youth that will attend the concerts?

Totsuka: I want my music to be an expression of what I have learned from Seiji Ozawa as well as what I have learned in other countries. By ‘expression’, I mean conveying to the orchestra and to the audience why a composer wrote a particular musical piece and what he or she was feeling when it was written.

LANXESS: What, do you believe, is the role of the conductor?

Totsuka: Like I said previously, the conductor’s role is to convey the feelings that a composer had in mind when he or she wrote a particular musical piece. This of course is also the role of the musicians. However, the conductor’s role is to summarize this into a clear musical message and lead the entire orchestra in a common direction.

LANXESS: Tell us more about the music you will perform on 6 & 7 September?

Totsuka: Hansel and Gretel is an opera based on the well known Grimm fairy tale with a musical score by the German composer Englebert Humperdinck. The score has a folk-music-like air, along with beautiful melodies and harmonies—it is sure to keep young people interested and enjoying the opera. I’m sure this is why this opera was chosen for Seiji Ozawa’s Opera for Young People.

LANXESS: What are your plans for the future?

Totsuka: Being given this opportunity by Seiji Ozawa to perform at the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto is a truly valuable experience. I hope to continue on this path and, when at all possible, work with Seiji Ozawa to learn as much as I can as a conductor. And for quite some time, I have been composing music that has been performed by amateur orchestras. I want to do even more composing.

LANXESS: Maestro Totsuka, thank you for your time. We wish you a great success with the performances.


Jernej Gregoric
Manager Cultural Affairs

Phone: +49 214 30 58938

Fax: +49 214 30 959 41309

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