In 1984, a decade after the passing of the magnificent educator Hideo Saito, Seiji Ozawa assembled globally acclaimed fellow students to perform a concert in his memory. The Saito Kinen Orchestra was thus born, and formed the basis of the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto （SKF), a musical festival launched in September 1992 under the direction of Seiji Ozawa with the two pillars of orchestral concerts and opera. The 23rd festival will be held in 2014, which is a special year marking 40 years since the passing of Hideo Saito and 30 years since the Saito Kinen Orchestra was founded.
The Orchestra Concerts will feature the “Symphonie Fantastique” for the second time since 2007, conducted by Seiji Ozawa, and Mozart’s “Gran Partita” （without a conductor). At the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto Gig, a new event from last year, the Marcus Roberts Trio and Haruo Niyama, who won the 42nd Prix de Lausanne ballet competition, will collaborate with the Saito Kinen Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
This year’s opera will be Verdi’s “Falstaff”, directed by David Kneuss. Conductor Fabio Luisi will make his first appearance at SKF at the fervent request of Seiji Ozawa. Come and enjoy Verdi’s last comic opera masterpiece performed by a talented international cast, including Quinn Kelsey, who will sing the title role of Falstaff for the first time.
Two chamber concerts will include performers such as Aiko Goto, Machiko Shimada, Saeko Oguma, Nobuko Imai, Dai Miyata, Philippe Tondre, Russ DeLuna, William Hudgins, Catherine Hudgins, Stéphane Lévesque, Tomoko Kano, Julia Pilant, Masayuki Naoi, Yasushi Katsumata, Sumire Kudo, Shigeru Ishikawa, Tomoko Kato, Miwako Watanabe, Mazumi Tanamura, Sadao Harada, Iseut Chuat, Jacques Zoon and Naoko Yoshino, in a variety of ensembles. Additionally, the Marcus Roberts Trio will perform a concert here for the first time in nine years, and Marcus Roberts will headline? a solo recital for the first time.
Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale” will be co-produced by Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre. This was performed for the first time last year under the direction of the Centre’s Artistic Director Kazuyoshi Kushida and will be presented again with some changes to the cast and musical performers.
Educational programs are a meaningful part of the festival. The Saito Kinen Chamber Music Study Group – Brass Ensemble will convene again in Okushiga and hold a recital. Seiji Ozawa and Fumiaki Miyamoto will conduct eight performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Concert for Children, inviting sixth graders from elementary schools in Nagano prefecture. Pierre Vallet will conduct the Opera for Young People / Hänsel und Gretel for first-year middle school students in Nagano prefecture, and this will also be performed for the general public as done last year.
Festival events such as the “Welcome Concert: Harmony at the Castle,” a brass parade that attracts 3,000 participants from Nagano and beyond, and joint performances at the Matsumoto Castle Garden are also becoming cherished annual traditions.
Come and enjoy the abundant nature of Matsumoto along with the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto international music festival this summer.
*Because Seiji Ozawa is still in the course of recovery, another conductor will replace him in the event he is unable to conduct. Please note before purchasing your tickets that should this be the case, there will be no change or refund （of the tickets.)