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Japanese Symphony

For 32 years, the NHK Symphony, considered by many to be Japan’s best orchestra, and Seiji Ozawa, by far its most renowned conductor, played not a single note together. The feud took place so long ago that Ozawa himself doesn’t recall all the details. What he remembers is the humiliation of showing up at a concert hall for a scheduled performance, baton in hand, to find no musicians and no audience. Because of a dispute between Ozawa and the NHK Symphony, the orchestra decided to boycott Ozawa’s concert without telling him.

On a Monday night last winter, Ozawa let bygones be bygones and led the NHK Symphony in a charity concert for disabled musicians in Sutory Hall in Tokyo.

Forgiveness is difficult, but it results in beautiful music.

Today in the Word, September 11, 1995, p. 18.