Conductor Seiji Ozawa vows to return to work

Seiji Ozawa Ozawa was music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 29 years

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Acclaimed Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa has pledged to return to work next year after being ordered to rest following a bout of pneumonia.

Ozawa, 76, told newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun: "Up until now I had too much faith in my own physical strength and ended up making trouble for everybody.

"I will take a different path to rehabilitation," he added.

Ozawa, formerly musical director of the Vienna State Opera, finished treatment for oesophageal cancer in 2010.

The maestro said he would "little by little resume his activities" from spring 2013.

His doctor said in a statement last week that Ozawa had been diagnosed with a mild bout of pneumonia in February.

He recovered after spending a week in hospital but the doctor said Ozawa's lack of strength meant he should take a break from performing.

Ozawa told the newspaper: "Even if I didn't feel anything during performances, once they ended I was always terribly exhausted. A full schedule in that state would be impossible."

He also underwent lower back surgery in January 2011.

Before he joined the Vienna opera in 2002, Ozawa served 29 years as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Ozawa is also the artistic director and founder of the Saito Kinen Festival, Japan's music and opera festival, where he made his return after recovering from cancer.

The festival and the orchestra Ozawa founded of the same name was named after the conductor's former music teacher.

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