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With a vision of the future of the Saito Kinen Orchestra and based on the principles of conducting musical activities at the highest international standards and of educating young musicians, we are pleased to announce that we established the Saito Kinen Orchestra Foundation (SKO Foundation) on February 5, 2021.


The Saito Kinen Orchestra is a treasure that I dearly cherish, and I find it hard to believe that 2021 marks its 30th year. The Matsumoto Festival is also very important to me. I have thought often about the future of the Saito Kinen Orchestra and the festival for a while and began discussing this with everyone since last year. From this point onward, I would like everyone in the SKO to take the reins to lead SKO activities and especially the Matsumoto Festival. 


I envisioned musicians proactively being involved in deciding the conductors and programs, as the Vienna Philharmonic does. I also consulted with Mayor Gaun of Matsumoto and asked the opinions of experts, and we arrived at the decision to establish a foundation for the Saito Kinen Orchestra to strengthen its future. I hold conviction that this will connect to strengthening the future of the Matsumoto Festival as well.


When the orchestra members suggested last year that my daughter Seira be the representative, I was startled at first. But when I thought about it, she has always stayed closely alongside the orchestra and me since the initial Europe tours in the 80s. I know that she deeply cares for the orchestra like family and has greatly devoted herself for these past eleven years since I became ill. With the confidence that she will do all she can for the sake of the orchestra, I listened to her decision with delight. 


The world is facing great challenges today, but I eagerly look forward to meeting with the members of the Saito Kinen Orchestra in Matsumoto this summer for the first time in two years.



Honorary President: Seiji Ozawa

Representative Director: Yoshiko Shiga

Director: Masayuki Naoi, Mazumi Tanamura, Miwako Watanabe

Trustee: Tadashi Hori, Yoshiko Kawamoto, Seira Ozawa


Saito Kinen Orchestra Representative: Seira Ozawa

SKO Advisory Committee:

Aiko Goto, Yasushi Toyoshima, Tatsuya Yabe, Takayoshi Wanami, Yoshiko Kawamoto, Dai Miyata, Hiroshi Ikematsu, Philippe Tondre, Masaru Yoshida, Yasushi Katsumata, Radek Baborák, Johann Ströker, Yasuhito Sugiyama


Committee for educational program: 

Sadao Harada, Fumiaki Miyamoto, Yasushi Toyoshima



Saito Kinen Orchestra Foundation

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