SAITO KINEN FESTIVAL MATSUMOTO
5F 3-8-13 Ohte, Matsumoto-City,
"The SAITO KINEN ORCHESTRA is my invaluable treasure, entrusted to me by the late Mr. Saito. It is no exaggeration to say that Mr.Saito made me what I am by sowing the seeds of western music in the Japanese soil and nurturing their growth. I am quite sure that all the members of the orchestra feel the same way and this concerted thought of each member makes up the Saito Kinen Orchestra. We thought that it was our mission to pass the will of our special mentor to future generations, in our own way. So, it was decided that we would hold the music festival in Japan, and that is how the SAITO KINEN FESTIVAL MATSUMOTO came into being." That was Seiji Ozawa's greeting in the first program in 1992.
In September of 1992, the Saito Kinen Festival was born in the beautiful natural surroundings of Japan Alps Matsumoto, with Seiji Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Orchestra as the formal nucleus and the orchestra's concerts and operas serving as twin pillars.
The SAITO KINEN ORCHESTRA was founded in September of 1984, when Hideo Saito's former students came from around the world to organize a special concert series to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hideo Saito's death. After this series of concerts, the Saito Kinen Orchestra received invitations from around the world, and as a result of these tours it was acclaimed as being of the highest caliber.
Based on the reaction in Europe, the birth place of western classical music, there developed a dream until now unimaginable --"Japanese people one day transmitting western music back to its European homeland."
An annual summer festival was a natural out growth of this unique creation, to be known as the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto.