The Berliner Philharmoniker welcomed Seiji Ozawa as an Honorary Member of the orchestra as an expression of their gratitude for a long-standing association. Knut Weber, cellist and member of the orchestra board, says: “We have enjoyed many years of wonderful music making with Seiji Ozawa. As the former assistant to Herbert von Karajan, this era continues to live on in him. As the first Japanese conductor of international standing, he forged another link to a country that has become a second home to the Berliner Philharmoniker. And, as the conductor of many premieres at the Philharmonie, he has frequently made it possible for us to make exciting musical discoveries. We are delighted to be able to welcome Seiji Ozawa to our midst again after a long break and to make him an Honorary Member of the Berliner Philharmoniker as an expression of our deep gratitude.” Seiji Ozawa says: “It’s a great honor. I conducted for the first time at this hall with this orchestra in 1966. It’s been 50 years of a long friendship. I am deeply touched and so very happy”. Since his highly acclaimed debut in 1966 Seiji Ozawa and the Berliner Philharmoniker have enjoyed a close artistic and personal relationship for 50 years. In our cover story, you can find out all about the collaboration of the conductor and the orchestra.