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June 17, 1999
Sony Chairman Norio Ohga Receives Honorary Doctorate|
from McGill University in Canada
Tokyo, Japan - Sony Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Norio Ohga received the degree of Doctor of Music honoris causa from McGill University, in Montreal, at its Spring Convocation on June 8, 1999. On this occasion, Mr. Ohga also delivered the convocation address.
Norio Ohga's career has been characterized by a unique combination of the artistic and business aspects of music. Upon graduating from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1953, Mr. Ohga studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and graduated from The Berlin University of the Arts. After pursuing a flourishing operatic career, he joined Sony Corporation in 1959. His first responsibilities included management of the Tape Recorder Division and Product Planning Division, and the creation of the company's Industrial Design and Advertising Division.
In 1968, Mr. Ohga was appointed senior managing director of CBS/Sony Records, Inc., a newly established record company that was a joint venture between CBS and Sony. He helped nurture what would become the largest record company in Japan, now known as Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. Together with Philips, Mr. Ohga was instrumental in establishing the compact disc format, a development that has revitalized the record industry and brought a whole new dimension to the enjoyment of music since its introduction in 1982. He also dedicated great personal efforts to the launch of MiniDisc in 1992, introducing listeners to a new world of portable digital music.
Throughout his long career, Mr. Ohga's personal love of music has remained undiminished. For many years he cherished a plan to return to the world of music as a conductor, a plan that was realized on his sixtieth birthday in 1990. He has conducted the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorak and Johann Strauss Jr. in cities as diverse as New York, Tel Aviv, Honolulu, Tokyo, Vienna, Tanglewood, Dallas, Jerusalem, Pittsburgh and Vancouver. His most recent conducting engagement was an all Mozart program on May 24 and 25 this year in Vienna, as part of Vienna's 29th Internationales Musikfest at the Wiener Konzerthaus and in Kittsee.
Upon receiving his honorary doctorate degree, Mr. Ohga stated, "It is my great pleasure and honor to be awarded such a distinguished degree from a fine university like McGill. McGill has a reputation for excellence, founded in a broad academic program that allows students to design their own study program. Such an environment must have nourished a flexible, creative and practical way of thinking. I assure you that such an ability will be a big asset as you carve your way to success."
He added, "People, products and capital are moving with no national borders. The information you get today is more extensive, and the people you meet will be more diverse. The 21st century will be a completely different society. Never be constrained by stereotyped convention. Raise your antenna, watch how the world moves, and nourish your foresight. And more than anything, be eager to pursue your ambition. Work on realizing your dreams and your beliefs."
Founded in 1821, McGill University is an English-language university located in Montreal, Canada. The Faculty of Music, Graduate Program in Sound Recording, was created in 1979. Prior recipients of the degree of Doctor of Music honoris causa include Mr. Burt Bacharach, Mr. Isaac Stern, and orchestra conductor Mr. Charles Dutoit, the current Music Director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $56 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999.
Sony Corporation's homepage URL: http://www.sony.co.jp.