at the Fondation Louis Vuitton


Wednesday 11 July 2018



© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin Raphaël Martiq



Seiji Ozawa, expressing his passion for teaching and conviction that practical chamber music experience, particularly work in quartets, is essential, founded his Academy in 2004. Each year, twenty-four hand-picked young talents, stringently selected from the world’s leading conservatories and competitions, gather in Switzerland at the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland to work in ensembles and quartets with Nobuko Imai, Pamela Frank and Sadao Harada, three tutors and performers of international renown.

As it has every year for the past four years, the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland will hold its annual closure at the Fondation Louis Vuitton with a public string-quartet master class and an exceptional concert of quartets and orchestra conducted by Maestro Kazuki Yamada in a performance of Arnold Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht.






Wednesday 11 July 2018



12.30 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.: public rehearsal


Cavatine for strings op.130  – Ludwig van Beethoven

Verklärte Nacht – Arnold Schönberg



8.30 p.m.: Concert

String quartet and ensemble conducted by Kazuki Yamada


First segment:

Six movements for string quartet


Second segment:

Cavatine for strings op.130  – Ludwig van Beethoven

Verklärte Nacht  – Arnold Schönberg /String ensemble conducted by Kazuki Yamada






Kazuki Yamada



Sadao Harada

Nobuko Imai

Pamela Frank


To read more about the tutors, click here.

The Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland


“It is fascinating to observe how young artists develop within a short period of time.”

Seiji Ozawa


Seiji Ozawa, expressing his passion for teaching, founded his Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland in 2004.


Seiji Ozawa’s Idea

For Seiji Ozawa, practical experience with chamber music, particularly with a quartet, is indispensable for a musician. He believes that the quartet is the very essence of music. In their quartets, composers give the very best of themselves, free of excessive embellishment or superfluity. In a string quartet, a musician can delve straight to the heart of the creator’s style and intentions. It is a learning phase through which every young virtuoso must pass before he or she can become an artist of the highest calibre.


The Selection Process

Throughout the year, the Selection Committee, led by Artistic Director Blanche d'Harcourt and composed of former Academy students Julien Szulman and Barbara Buntrock, seeks out talented young musicians from the main conservatories and international competitions in Europe to take part in the auditions. The final selection is then made by Seiji Ozawa, the artistic directors and the tutors.


The Tutors

The Academy's mission is to impart to the most talented instrumentalists of the younger generation something that may only be achieved through practical interaction with peers combined with guidance from the very best tutors. Thus it is that all the Academy's tutors are internationally renowned artists with substantial experience in both stage work and teaching their craft:  Pamela Frank, Nobuko Imai and Sadao Harada.


The Academy

The quartets are formed on the basis of affinities that surface during the interaction between the tutors, the artistic directors and the instrumentalists. They take into account the style, tonality and temperament of each musician. The students work with the tutors in turns to ensure the latter effectively convey their unique expertise.


The Concerts

The Academy closes with a series of concerts given in prestigious concert halls such as the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, the Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, MA, USA, the Fondation Beyeler in Basel and Victoria Hall in Geneva. A concert is also performed for the residents of the Fondation Aigues-Vertes.

Kazuki Yamada



Kazuki Yamada, Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo since September 2013, was named the orchestra’s Artistic and Music Director as of the 2016/17 season.  He additionally holds the title of Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestre de la Suisse Romande since September 2012 and today is one of the best-known conductors of his generation.


In September 2009, Kazuki Yamada was winner of the International Besançon Competition for young conductors, receiving the audience award as well as the Grand Prize. He swiftly gained international fame and conducted such orchestras as the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Czech Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica, Sinfonia Varsovia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orquesta Sinfonica y Coro de RTVE, Tonkünstler-Orchester at the Vienna Musikverein, and others.


In Japan, he also holds the titles of Permanent Conductor of Japan Philharmonic, Music Partner with Sendai Philharmonic and the Orchestral Ensemble Kanazawa, and Music Director of the Yokohama Sinfonietta, an ensemble he founded whilst still a student. In August 2012, he directed Xenakis' opera Oresteia with the Tokyo Sinfonietta and replaced Maestro Seiji Ozawa, on the maestro’s recommendation, in a stage version of Jeanne au Bûcher by Honegger with the Saito-Kinen Orchestra. The production was performed at the Philharmonie de Paris with the Orchestre de Paris and in Monaco with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. Marion Cotillard played the role of Jeanne d’Arc.


Major soloists with whom he has worked include Emmanuel Ax, Boris Berezovsky, Leon Fleischer, Håkan Hardenberger, Nobuko Imai, Daishin Kashimoto, Daniel Müller-Schott, Xavier de Maistre, Steven Osborne, Vadim Repin, Baiba Skride, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniil Trifonov and Alexandre Kniazev.


Kazuki Yamada and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande will release a series of three, dance-inspired CDs inspired on the Pentatone label. With Octavia Records, the artist will present works by Glazunov, Kalinnikov and Khachaturian with the Czech Philharmonic. Previously, on the Fontec label, the conductor appeared on four CDs presenting vocal works with the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus, of which he is the resident conductor.


During the 2015/16 season, Kazuki Yamada returned to the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted the Orchestre National de France, Tonkünstler-Orchester, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, NHK Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony, which he would take on tour in Japan. He made his debut with Staatskapelle Dresden, the Bergen Philharmonic, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in an opera. He then continued his cycle of Mahler's symphonies with the Japan Philharmonic.


Kazuki Yamada is taking part in the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland as guest conductor. In Seiji Ozawa’s absence, he conducted all the students in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017.



© Marco Borggreve