LENOX, Mass. (AP) – Seiji Ozawa received a hero’s welcome on his return to Tanglewood on Saturday night to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the first time since 2002.

A crowd of more than 10,000 that filled the Music Shed and much of the lawn gave the former BSO director a standing ovation when he walked on stage to conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, the “Resurrection.”

He received a nearly six-minute ovation following the 90-minute performance by the BSO, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and soloists Heidi Grant Murphy and Nathalie Stutzmann.

Before acknowledging the plaudits of the crowd, and after the symphony’s thunderous conclusion, Ozawa first went around the front rows of the orchestra shaking hands with his former colleagues.

He was recalled with the soloists and chorus director John Oliver three times, each time calling on the orchestra and chorus to rise and share the ovations with him. He is also the artistic director and founder of the Saito Kinen Festival, Japan’s music and opera festival.

Known for his high-energy performances and easily recognized by his fluffy nest of graying hair, Ozawa is largely credited with bolstering attendance at Tanglewood, where a 1,200-seat, $12 million music hall bears his name.

His celebrity attracted big-name performers like Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.

But his 29-year tenure with the BSO included controversy. In 1996, he ousted the longtime director of the Tanglewood Music Institute, and several prominent teachers quit in protest.

AP-ES-08-05-06 1453EDT


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