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August 31, 2011

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Ozawa out of Shanghai event

FAMED Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa will miss the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto to be staged at the Shanghai Grand Theater from September 6-11, due to poor health.

But the concerts of festival will still be staged as planned, and theater officials said yesterday they are not accepting ticket returns or changes.

The Saito Kinen Orchestra String Ensemble will perform Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for String Orchestra" without a conductor during the first half of the concert on September 7.

Ozawa's assistant conductor, Pierre Vallet, will replace him for the opera "Bluebeard's Castle" during the second half.

The conductor for Seiji Ozawa Ongaku-juku Concert to be staged on September 11 has not been decided yet.

Ozawa had surgery for esophageal cancer and to his lower back last year.

He conducted "Bluebeard's Castle" on August 21 in Japan, but was sent to a hospital right after the concert.

"It is a pity for me not managing to join the festival in China, and I am very sorry for the inconvenience and worries that it may bring," Ozawa told Shanghai Daily in an e-mail. "Vallet has been my assistant for years, and he did a very good job on August 23 and 25. I believe that it will be a great opera in China, too."


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