Japan's maestro Seiji Ozawa has returned to conducting after being sidelined by poor health for about 14 months.
Ozawa made an appearance for the last piece of a concert program on Wednesday. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were among the audience at the concert hall in Tokyo.
Ozawa took command for Camille Saint-Saens' "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso."
It was performed by Saito Kinen Orchestra, which he trained for decades.
World-acclaimed violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter played the main tune.
He began conducting while seated, but he stood up at the climax. And in response, the orchestra gave its all.
After the 10-minute performance, he responded to a long curtain call.
A member of the audience said he considers it a once-in-a lifetime performance, and he feels the lengthy standing ovation was dedicated to Ozawa's life itself.
Ozawa underwent heart surgery in March. In August, he slipped in the bath and fractured his spine, causing him to cancel scheduled performances while he recovered.
His agent says he has no problems in his daily life.