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Violin

Midori

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About

Midori is a visionary artist, activist, and educator who explores and builds connections between music and the human experience. In the four decades since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11, the violinist has performed with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and has collaborated with world-renowned musicians including Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma, and many others. Midori is the newly-appointed artistic director of Ravinia Steans Music Institute’s Program for Piano & Strings, which she began overseeing in summer 2024.

In the 2023-24 season Midori celebrated her 40th anniversary season with Warner Classics’ release of the complete Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. She began the current season with a summer appearance at the Santander International Festival, followed by fall tours of Europe and North America with Festival Strings Lucerne. Other 2023-24 season highlights included performing Bernstein’s Serenade with the National Repertory Orchestra under Michael Stern, with the WDR Symphony in Germany under Constantinos Carydis, and with the Sofia Philharmonic in Bulgaria. She performed Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A minor with the Iris Collective and Orchestra Lumos, also under Stern’s baton, and with the Prague Philharmonia under Eugene Tzigane. She also performed the piece at a recital at the Long Center in Austin, Texas. In 2024 she twice performed the 2019 Violin Concerto An die Unsterbliche Geliebte (“To the Immortal Beloved”), written for her by Detlev Glanert: one in January with the NDR Radiophilharmonie under Andrew Manze, and the second in February with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, a co-commissioner of the work.

Deeply committed to furthering humanitarian and educational goals, Midori has founded several non-profit organizations including the New York City-based Midori & Friends and the Japan-based MUSIC SHARING, both of which celebrated their 30th anniversaries in 2022-23. For her Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP), which supports youth orchestras, Midori commissioned a new work from composer Derek Bermel to be performed virtually during the COVID lockdown. The ORP also recently worked with the Afghan Youth Orchestra, which is currently in exile in Portugal. Midori’s Partners in Performance helps bring chamber music to smaller communities in the U.S. In recognition of her work as an artist and humanitarian, she serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, and was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2021.

Born in Osaka in 1971, Midori began her violin studies with her mother, Setsu Goto, at an early age. In 1982, conductor Zubin Mehta invited the then-11-year-old Midori to perform with the New York Philharmonic in the orchestra’s annual New Year’s Eve concert, which laid the foundation for her subsequent career. Midori is the Dorothy Richard Starling chair in violin studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She has received honorary doctorates from Smith College, Yale University, Longy School of Music, and Shenandoah University. She plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù "ex-Huberman" violin and uses four bows – two by Dominique Peccatte, one by François Peccatte and one by Paul Siefried.

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