Photo/IllutrationConductor Seiji Ozawa, left, directs the Saito Kinen Orchestra, featuring a solo performance by German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Dec. 5. ((c) Ryota Mori)

World-renowned conductor Seiji Ozawa showered praise on his orchestra in the 83-year-old maestro's Dec. 5 comeback performance after overcoming a serious disease.

With Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in attendance, the audience applauded Ozawa's first public performance since late July.

Ozawa conducted the Saito Kinen Orchestra during the Deutsche Grammophon 120 Special Gala Concert, marking the 120th anniversary of the founding of the record company, at Suntory Hall in Tokyo’s Minato Ward.

The Saito Kinen Orchestra was founded 34 years ago by Ozawa along with a like-minded friend to commemorate their mentor, Hideo Saito.

Ozawa appeared for about 10 minutes at the closing of the concert for the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, composed by Saint-Saens. While he appeared somewhat frail, Ozawa made brisk movements with his arms.

The music giant was admitted to a hospital in March after being diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis. He overcame the disease to perform in July, but his lower back pain became worse, and he was forced to cancel a performance in October.

During string concerts held in Nagano Prefecture and Tokyo in late July, Ozawa conducted an orchestra comprising students of a music school he headed.