Statement on the Passing of ROHM Co., Ltd. Chairman Emeritus Ken Sato

When Seiji Ozawa decided that he wanted to create an environment for young musicians to study opera, it was Ken Sato, founder and then-president of ROHM Co., Ltd., who was first to espouse this grand ambition. With extraordinary passion and love for music, Mr. Sato empathized with Ozawa’s beliefs and generously agreed to support them. Thus ROHM Co., Ltd. and Rohm Music Foundation have provided great support to the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy from establishment in 2000 to date.

Academy Director Ozawa last saw Mr. Sato in March 2019, in the audience of the Kyoto performance of Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project XVII Bizet: Carmen. As always, Mr. Sato was warm and smiling as he chatted with Ozawa, and enthusiastically applauded the Opera Project performance.

The philanthropy of ROHM Co., Ltd., Rohm Music Foundation, and Ken Sato has benefited more than a thousand Music Academy students, who have moved on to flourish all over the world. It was Mr. Sato himself who advocated expanding the support of young musicians to cover the extended Asian region and who named the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy with the vision that the educational project would continue for many years. The Seiji Ozawa Music Academy will carry on this vision and aspires to produce many more musicians who will thrive internationally.

Ozawa and Mr. Sato had a strong and absolute bond, formed by their love of music. Upon hearing of Mr. Sato’s passing, Ozawa tearfully shared his thoughts.
“Nothing could be sadder. I am devastated and lost for words…”

We at the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy mourn the loss of Ken Sato and pray that he may rest in peace.

January 25, 2020
Seiji Ozawa Music Academy