Japanese conductor a hit at Wagner fest

July 26, 2005 at 4:45 AM

BERLIN, July 26 (UPI) -- Japanese conductor Eiji Oue this week became the first Asian conductor at Germany's annual Bayreuth Music Festival, dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner.

Oue, music director of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, opened the festival Monday by conducting Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde," the Mainichi Shimbun reported Tuesday.

Oue's energetic performance drew the cheers and applause of listeners, local reports said.

German President Horst Kohler and leading figures from political and business circles were present at the Bayreuth Theater on the festival's opening day.

Oue, born in Hiroshima prefecture, went to the United States in 1978, where he studied conducting under Leonard Bernstein. He became the music director of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003.

The Bayreuth Music Festival was founded in 1876 to perform Wagner's works.

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