Featured Artist

Midori

We proudly present Violin Magazine's Featured Artist for the August issue: Midori.

Midori violin

Midori: 14 Important Dates in Her Life

  • 1974: Given a 1/16 size violin by her mother on her 3rd birthday, she began taking her lessons from her mother, Setsu Gotō.
  • 1982: Aged 10, she and her mother moved to New York City. Midori started violin studies with Dorothy DeLay at the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School and the Aspen Music Festival and School. At 11, she was invited by conductor Zubin Mehta to perform with the New York Philharmonic in the orchestra’s annual New Year’s Eve concert.
  • 1985: Midori went on tour with Leonard Bernstein and the European Union Youth Orchestra.
  • 1986: Her performance at the Tanglewood Music Festival with Leonard Bernstein made the front-page headlines in The New York Times. The first commercial recording with Midori was published.
  • 1987: Made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic.
  • 1989: Made her Carnegie Hall orchestral debut on her 18th birthday, playing Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 — she would make her recital debut four days before her 19th birthday.
  • 1992: Aged 21, she established Midori & Friends, a non-profit organisation in New York which brings music education programs to underserved New York City schoolchildren. The same year, she founded MUSIC SHARING in Japan.
  • 2001: Won the Avery Fisher Prize and invested the award money in the creation of Partners in Performance (PiP). This non-profit organisation co-presents chamber music concerts intended to stimulate interest in classical music, specifically in smaller communities in the United States outside the radius and without the financial resources of major urban centres.
  • 2004: Released her memoir, Einfach Midori (Simply Midori) on Henschelverlag. Began Orchestral Residencies Program (ORP), working with youth orchestras in the U.S. and internationally.
  • 2007: Named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
  • 2013: The album featuring her rendition of Hindemith’s Violin Concerto with NDR Sinfonieorchester and maestro Christoph Eschenbach won a Grammy Award. Midori made the world premiere of Péter Eötvös’ Violin Concerto DoReMi, written for her.
  • 2018: After serving on the USC Thornton faculty for fourteen years, she joined the violin faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia as Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies.
  • 2020: Over two years, Midori created various online programs for each of her non-profits and projects, as COVID-Year Support Programs, including a special commission for a new work by Derek Bermel, a series of multi-media musical introductory films, and a diverse array of Zoom presentations and workshops.
  • 2021: Recognised for her lifetime of contributions to American culture in the Kennedy Center Honors. Midori made the world premiere of Detlev Glanert’s Violin Concerto No. 2 To the Immortal Beloved, written for her.

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