Carnegie Hall's JapanNYC festival kicked off on Tuesday in a city-wide celebration of Japanese culture that resumes in March & April 2011 to complete its 65 events. This week's launch (consisting of three concerts) commenced with Artistic Director Seiji Ozawa conducting the 26-year-old Saito Kinen Orchestra, which he co-founded with fellow conductor Kazuyoshi Akiyama to honor his late mentor Hideo Saito.
Tuesday's concert consisted of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (with soloist Mitsuko Uchida), Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, and the U.S. premiere of a Carnegie Hall commission, Atsuhiko Gondai’s Decathexis, both Ozawa and Tatsuya Shimono sharing in the conducting duties, earlier cited for health reasons.
Above the Maestro pauses for an adorable breath. Below, Uchida takes a bow (with Shimono on the far left and composer Atsuhiko Gondai rocking the red jacket).