SEIJI: AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF SEIJI OZAWA is collection of photographs that come out of Lincoln Russell's work as the Principal Guest Photographer for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Over the course of twenty years, Russell traveled extensively with the orchestra, developing a unique relationship with legendary conductor, Seiji Ozawa. Enabled by the close friendship, and the photographer's artistic eye, Russell created an insightful collection of portraits profiling two decades of Seiji Ozawa's life both onstage and off.  These photographs and many more have been exhibited around the world and published in the book SEIJI: AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF SEIJI OZAWA, as well as in a fine art monograph on Lincoln Russell's photography.


Conducting in the Herodes Atticus Odeon; Athens, 1994

Leaving Greece right after this rehearsal of the Saito Kinen Orchestra in the ancient amphitheater below the Parthenon, after a very hot week during which I hadn’t made a single worthwhile photograph, I was desperate and boldly asked Seiji if I could sit at his feet. The rehearsal was scheduled for early morning because once the sun came up, the white marble became so bright the musicians couldn’t read their music.  -LR

Seiji Ozawa Saltzburg

Backstage at the Grosses Festspielhaus with Kim Smedvig and Peter Gelb; Saltzburg, 1984

I was so engrossed in what I was doing I didn’t have any idea what they were talking about. Years later, I learned Seiji was telling them he was not happy about something.      -LR

Seiji Ozawa Prague

The Green Room at Smetana Hall with Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma; Prague, 1993


Perlman and I talked about his violin, the so-called 'Soil Stradivarius', named for a previous owner. “What did you do before you owned it,” I asked? “I dreamt of owning it,” he replied.   -LR

Seiji Ozawa Car

En route to a tango bar; Buenos Aires, 1992

Seiji works incredibly hard but when he’s finished, he really enjoys himself. Many of the best times on tour were going out with him after concerts. Here, we’re speeding through the city in two cars, side-by-side, and he’s clearly having fun. Later that night, he was backstage playing cards with the tango musicians – and winning.   -LR

Seiji Ozawa Ozawa Hall

In Seiji Ozawa Hall; Stockbridge, 1998

Working with an 8x10 Deardorff view camera, I conceived a very ambitious, heavily lit and technically difficult photograph.  -LR

Seiji Ozawa with Rostropovich

The Green Room at Symphony Hall with Mstislav Rostropovich; Boston, 1985


Seiji and Slava were very good friends and loved making music together. In the Green Room immediately following a concert, this picture captures their tremendous energy. An usher told me “this picture looks the way they made us feel.”   -LR

Seiji Ozawa Rudolf Serkin

The Green Room at Symphony Hall with Mstislav Rostropovich, Rudolph Serkin, Leontyne Price and Isaac Stern 

Boston, 1981


In the Green Room after the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Centennial Celebration concert, with this great line-up of guest artists, my flash failed but during the 1/60th of a second the lens was open, another photographer’s flash went off and lit this picture. When Miss Price came off the stage, to tumultuous applause, she had her hand to her throat. “Was I alright? she asked, to no one in particular. “Was I alright?”   -LR

Seiji Ozawa Yo-Yo Ma

The Green Room at Symphony Hall with Yo-Yo Ma; Boston, 1988


Rehearsals like this, with guest artists playing concertos, were incredible opportunities for intimate photographs.  -LR

Seiji Ozawa and Vera

With daughter, Seira, and wife, Vera; Matsumoto, 1993


Walking backstage, we passed a door through which I could see a totally dark space, which I thought would provide a perfect backdrop for a family photo.   -LR