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Japan conductor Seiji Ozawa diagnosed with cancer

January 7, 2010

Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa said Thursday he has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and will cancel all his concerts for six months to focus on treatment.

Ozawa, an icon in the classical music world, said the cancer was spotted following a regular medical checkup late last year.

"I am perfectly fine right now. I have no problems in drinking and eating," the 74-year-old maestro said at a news conference in Tokyo. A doctor who accompanied Ozawa at the news conference said the cancer is in an early stage.

Ozawa will cancel all his concerts from January to June to undergo cancer treatment. His office said there are around 30 concerts at home and abroad scheduled during the six months.

Ozawa is currently chief conductor of the Vienna State Opera. He took the post in 2002, and his tenure at the Vienna State Opera is to expire in June this year.

Before the Vienna opera, the Japanese conductor served 29 years as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Ozawa led the American orchestra longer than any other conductor in the group's 125-year history. He is also the artistic director and founder of the Saito Kinen Festival, Japan's music and opera festival.

Source: USA Today

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