News  
 
Midori is Artiste étoile at the Lucerne Festival in August 2014
August 2014

As Artiste étoile at the 2014 Lucerne Festival, Midori performs the complete Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin at the Franciscan Church and joins the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniele Gatti at the KKL Luzern Concert Hall in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. At the same hall two days later, Midori and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Gaffigan perform the World Premiere of 'Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II) Music for Violin and Orchestra' by the Festival's Composer-in-Residence Johannes Maria Staud.

In addition, Midori gives two days of masterclasses, appears in Conversation with the Festival's Artistic and Executive Director Michael Haefliger and undertakes three outreach recitals. At 10 p.m. after the second Bach concert, she heads for Lounge 1 at the Bourbaki a few minutes' walk from the main concert hall for some more Bach performed in a relaxed lounge atmosphere with no admission charge.






 
 
Midori and ICEP Quartet perform at the United Nations

June 2014

Midori, named a UN Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, visited United Nations headquarters on 3 June 2014. Her chief mission that day was to play a concert for UN dignitaries and staff members, to raise awareness of the important work of the Messengers of Peace program within the UN, and to extend the network of communication and cooperation from the program to other divisions of the organization.

Midori brought with her to the UN three young musicians - GaHyun Cho (violin), William Frampton (viola), and Michael Katz (cello) - who had traveled with her to Myanmar in December 2013 as part of the International Community Engagement Program (ICEP). They were met at the UN that morning by Jeffrey Brez and Jon Herbertsson, two executives of the UN's Messenger of Peace division, and were escorted to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, where they played string quartet music (excerpts) for the assembled dignitaries.

Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, welcomed Midori and the other quartet members and introduced Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who explained the crucial importance of the Messengers of Peace program and expressed his appreciation for Midori's ongoing commitment to the UN and to her community engagement work worldwide. Midori thanked Secretary-General Ban, spoke of their shared belief in the advancement of the UN's Millennium Development Goals, and introduced the music from the stage. The quartet performed a brief concert.

Next Midori was ushered to the UN's onsite television studio, where she made two public service announcements - each shot in both English and Japanese - to be used by the UN in multiple contexts at conferences, summits, in social media, and for public broadcast. The first of these "PSAs" was in behalf of the UN's Every Woman Every Child program, which works to prevent maternal and infant illness and death worldwide. The second PSA was made for UN Women, a division of the UN devoted to abolishing violence against women and girls.

Midori then met with Mr. Brez and Megan Gemmell, Advocacy and Communications Officer of Every Woman Every Child, and Nanette Braun, Chief of Communications and Advocacy for UN Women, to strategize their efforts going forward.

UN-ICEP
          Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, GaHyun Cho, Midori,
          Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mrs. Ban, William Frampton, Michael Katz.


UN-ICEP
          UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon introduces Midori

UN-ICEP
          ICEP Quartet performs at the United Nations

*All photos by Rochelle Atizado, courtesy of the UN






 
 
Midori & Friends event, CityMusic, at Lincoln Center

June 2014

On June 4, 2014, students from Midori & Friends performed at an event called CityMusic in the Appel Room in Jazz at Lincoln Center. Over 80 young musicians shared their new skills on guitar, violin, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion and voice with parents, school community members, partners and friends. The presentation also saw the students share the stage with such high profile artists as Latin Jazz clarinettist, saxophonist, composer and musical bridge builder Paquito D'Rivera, the Heritage Blues Orchestra, and pianist and Silk Road Ensemble member Cristina Pato. Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening was the network broadcast journalist Paula Zahn.

Midori brought three partner school principals to the stage to acknowledge their outstanding leadership and devotion to music education for their students and Midori & Friends Board Chair Peter Glaser presented the 2014 Byron Gustafson Award to 5th grade flute student Patryk Stypulkowski for his high level of motivation, his passion for music, and his caring spirit for his classmates.

LincolnCtr
          Pianist Cristina Pato accompanies 5th grade violin student Cliona Poje

LincolnCtr
          Mistress of Ceremonies Paula Zahn with 2014 Byron Gustafson Award winner,
          5th grade flute student Patryk Stypulkowski


LincolnCtr
          Ivanna Philips sings "My Funny Valentine."

LincolnCtr
          Woodwind and Brass students jam with Paquito D'Rivera

New York City is home to the world's finest in the performing arts but, for many of the city's young people, the famous stages so close to home are really worlds away. CityMusic closed that distance, proving that, with the support of the Midori & Friends community, children can achieve any goal and no stage is beyond their reach.

*All photos by Lauren Silberman. Courtesy of Midori & Friends






 
 
Application period opens for 2014/2015 ICEP in the Philippines and Japan

May 2014

Young violinists, violists and cellists aged 20-30 with a strong interest in community engagement activities and an ability to communicate in English are invited to apply to join Midori as a quartet member for the 2014/2015 International Community Engagement Programme in the Philippines.

Projected dates are 15-30 December 2014 (Rehearsals in Japan and concerts and related activities at educational institutions, facilities for children and the disabled, and hospitals in the Philippines) with follow-up activities from 31 May to 16 June 2015 in Japan, including concerts at elementary schools, special-needs schools, hospitals and other facilities, for the purpose of reporting on engagement activities in the Philippines.

Positions available: 1 violin, 1 viola, 1 cello
For information on eligibility and application/audition procedures
The deadline for receipt of applications is July 10, 2014.
For more information about the International Community Engagement Program






 
 
Midori interviewed on NHK World
April 2014

NHK World recently broadcast an interview in English with Midori about ICEP, her International Community Engagement Program that takes place each December in Asia.
The interview, Music for One and All can be viewed online.






 
 
Orchestra Residencies Program in Kalamazoo, Michigan gets underway

31 January 2014

Midori and Moni Simeonov, her student in the doctoral program at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California, arrived in Kalamazoo on Wednesday January 29th for five full days of activities. These include outreach concerts, master classes, a radio interview, a luncheon and session with members of the business community, rehearsals and performances with the Kalamazoo Symphony and with the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony - and more.

ORP


From 70 degrees in Los Angeles to snow and cold temperatures in Kalamazoo, their trip was eventful before they even arrived at their destination and it has been non-stop ever since.

Read the blog and see photos of the Kalamazoo ORP here






 
 
2013/2014 International Community Engagement Program (ICEP) in Myanmar

January 2014

Midori and three young string players selected through auditions visited schools, hospitals and camps for internally displaced persons in Myanmar in December 2013 as part of the seventh annual International Community Engagement Program.

ICEP
          Photo: S.Suzuki

Midori is also a United Nations Messenger of Peace and there is a United Nations blog about the Myanmar visit which mentions that, "Midori's International Community Engagement Program aims to bring classical music to disadvantaged communities, connect these communities and the musicians, and raise awareness about the challenges poorer regions face in achieving the Millennium Development Goals."

The three young string players who joined Midori in the Myanmar ICEP quartet, Gahyon Chow (violin), William Frampton (viola) and Michael Katz (cello), blogged about their experience. You can read their blog here.

The Myanmar ICEP quartet will reunite in June 2014 for reporting events, community engagement activities and concerts in Japan.

A report on the Myanmar International Community Engagement Program is being prepared and will be posted on this website when it has been completed.

Read more about ICEP






 
 
Hindemith recording wins 2014 GRAMMY Award

January 2014

Midori's recording of the Hindemith Violin Concerto is one of the three performances on the NDR Symphony Orchestra's Grammy-winning Hindemith CD conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and released on the Ondine label.

Hindemith Cover


Following the announcement at the Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on January 26, 2014, Midori said, "I am delighted that Christoph Eschenbach and the NDR Symphony Orchestra invited me to play Hindemith's Violin Concerto as part of their CD tribute to Paul Hindemith, and am very happy that tonight this recording won the Grammy for Best Classical Compendium. Hindemith is one of the musicians I respect and admire the most. I hope our recording brings more awareness and appreciation of this great artist."






 
 
THE YEAR IN PICTURES 2013

In 2013, Midori gave recitals in Europe, Japan and the United States. She also performed concertos by Brahms, Bartók, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Britten, Berg, Walton and Mendelssohn in Europe, China, India and the United States and premiered DoReMi, the concerto composed for her by Peter Eötvös, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, followed by performances with the Leipzig Gewandhaus in Leipzig and the Philharmonia Orchestra at the London Proms. As part of a two-season celebration of her community engagement activities, Midori gave a Family Concert at London's Wigmore Hall and performed for patients at the city's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. She gave all-Bach solo recitals in Munich, Vienna, Shanghai, St Petersburg, Oxford, Edinburgh and Santa Barbara. Two recordings were released in 2013: Hindemith's Violin Concerto with the NDR Sinfonieorchester under Christoph Eschenbach on the Ondine label and Sonatas by Bloch, Janáček and Shostakovich with Özgür Aydin on the Onyx label. Midori & Friends celebrated its 20th anniversary with a Gala in New York City in which Midori performed. She gave a Partners in Performance (PiP) recital in Fallon, Nevada and led Orchestra Residencies (ORP) in Little Rock, Arkansas and Reading, Pennsylvania. In connection with her Japanese charity Music Sharing, Midori visited and played in schools and other institutions in Japan. She ended the year with the seventh edition of the International Community Engagement Project (ICEP, another of Music Sharing's activities) in Myanmar.

The photos below recall some of these activities.

THE YEAR IN PICTURES 2013




 
 
Midori's Sonatas Recording nominated for an ICMA Award

December 2013

Midori's recording of the Bloch, Janáček and Shostakovich sonatas has been nominated for an International Classical Music Award in 2014 in the Chamber Music category.
The International Chamber Music Awards are dedicated exclusively to classical music. The jury is composed of 17 members drawn from the international music press. The winners will be announced in early 2014.






 
 
Hindemith CD nominated for a Grammy Award

December 2013

Ondine's recording of Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis, Konzertmusik and the Violin Concerto, performed by Midori and the NDR Sinfonieorchester and Christoph Eschenbach has been nominated for a Grammy Award.






 
 
Midori's new CD features sonatas by Bloch, Janáček and Shostakovich

October 2013

20thCentury Cover


On her latest CD, recorded in Cologne in August 2012 and just released on the ONYX label, Midori and pianist Özgür Aydin perform Ernest Bloch's Sonata No.2 'Poème mystique' and the Sonatas for Violin and Piano by Leoš Janáček and Dmitri Shostakovich.

The release dates vary for different territories. We advise that you check your local CD shop, online through Amazon and other websites or order directly from Onyx Classics.

Reviewing the CD in London's Sunday Times, Paul Driver wrote, "Midori's playing in these three satisfyingly aligned 20th century violin and piano sonatas is imbued not just with a keen beauty but somehow with a thoughtfulness. Perhaps one is influenced by her comments cited in the booklet essay, in which she sees the works as simultaneously embodying the war-torn darkness of the times and a spiritual aspiration beyond it. Bloch's single-span second sonata, subtitled Poème mystique (1924), is mainly on the striving side - a beautiful, rhapsodic unfolding - while brutalism is obtruded by the middle movement of Shostakovich's 1968 sonata. Janáček's fascinatingly inventive and searching four-movement sonata (1922) is the disc's deeply rewarding centrepiece."

Audiophile Audition said Midori and Aydin "bring a wonderfully colored focus to the Poème, perhaps the most striking performance we have had since the famed Heifetz inscription from the 1950s."






 
 
A new recording by Midori

Hindemith Cover


In October 2012, Midori performed the Hindemith Violin Concerto with the NDR Sinfornieorchester with conductor Christoph Eschenbach. The performance was recorded and is being released on the ONDINE label, along with two symphonic works by the same composer, his Symphonic Metamorphosis and Konzertmusik Op. 50.

Reviewing the concert, Die Welt wrote, "With the power of austerity, Midori sends her crystalline and unfussy tones into the Musikhalle (Laeiszhalle, Hamburg). The playing of this wiry fairy of the violin has a purity and clarity, an intensity of the quietness and concentration of energy that may be unique in the world. If other, less grounded artists tried this approach, it would lack flesh and emotion. But for Midori 'less is more'. You can literally feel the essence of Zen when she reduces her vibrato to a hardly perceptible tremor in the concerto's slow movement, or when a magically delicate pianissimo can still be heard. Midori seems to turn sound into spirit."

The CD release date differs for various countries but, if you do not wish to wait, you can pre-order the recording online via Amazon, ArkivMusic, Presto Classical and other online services.






 
 
Midori Performs Bach Sonatas and Partitas in Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West Festival
31 July 2013

On July 29th, Midori performed the first of two all-Bach solo recitals at the Music Academy of the West Festival in Santa Barbara, California. Mark Swed's review was published in the Los Angeles Times today. The second recital takes place tonight.

Los Angeles Times, July 30 2013
By MARK SWED
Midori reaches soulful new heights with Bach at Hahn Hall
Midori holds a Hahn Hall audience spellbound as the violinist puts herself into the music as never before in traversing the Bach cycle.


LA Times
          (Katie Falkenberg, Los Angeles Times / July 31, 2013)

Midori is a formal and famously unflappable violinist. I don't know whether she is fearless, but she may be that too. She came to our attention at age 14 in 1986 as a soloist for Leonard Bernstein in his "Serenade." She broke two strings during the performance, but nothing fazed her. Bernstein bowed to her afterward in awe.

She's as committed a musician as you will find. She never lets an audience down. But there can be a downside to her dedication and her striving for perfection. She could seem a little too dutiful.

Monday night she played the first of two recitals at Hahn Hall, the intimate recital venue of Music Academy of the West, in which she will traverse Bach's six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. This is the Everest for violinists, a test of fingers and feeling, and here she reached such new heights. I found myself on the long ride home afterward with what felt like the first signs of altitude sickness, driving with the widows open and gulping down air.

This first program contained the first and third sonatas and concluded with Partita No.2 in D Minor, with its famous Chaconne conclusion, performed without intermission over a 69-minute stretch. Midori probably has been playing that Chaconne since she was a toddler and used it to audition at Juilliard while still a child.

I thought I had an idea of what to expect Monday, and that would be sober, musically flawless, unimpeachably proportioned Bach, enhanced by her plush tone, as can be heard in the sensitive but not overpowering recording of the D-Minor Partita she made in 2006. The music, the violin, Bach and that's all, presented in an acoustically immediate space. If I had been right, I would have left, I'm sure, gladdened.

But I was clearly wrong. It has taken a long time for Midori to put herself into her music the way she did Monday.

Monday something came pouring out of Midori. The violin playing was still phenomenal. Her sound filled every inch of the hall. But that, I don't think, is what held the audience so spellbound. I didn't notice a single cough or rustle. Even German audiences aren't normally that attentive.

There are endless theories about these revered sonatas and partitas, such as the progression through them from darkness to light. They have been said to contain the very soul of the violin like no other music before or in the three centuries since Bach wrote them.

I subscribe to other theories about Bach, that he was essentially being a spirited craftsman here, delighted to show his amazing technical craft, such as his capacity to write complex counterpoint for a single instrument. These pieces were written for connoisseurs to learn and share, not to hypnotize a future public in Hahn Hall.

The soulfulness is what we now seek and certainly what Midori so significantly added. The sonatas begin with slow adagios, experiments in harmony and form, with hidden structures. Midori has taken an interest in modern music in recent years, and that may have had something to do with why she played Bach as if the ink were still wet and she didn't know where the movements were headed. She mined notes like an archaeologist on a dig to see what they might reveal.

Fugues follow. Here Midori became like a powerful builder, creating massive structures. Her tone was very thick, and she didn't seem to care about detailing the fugues' inner structures that Bach built and which are so exceptional. She revealed great vistas, the reasons for the structures were her own but also true to Bach. The experience was aural but the vision was immense.

She used the slow third movements to slow time, entering the inner world of the violin. The final fast movements were to speed time with nuclear propulsion.

The partita was different. The movements use dance forms and Midori moved physically as she played more than was once her wont. Again she didn't concentrate on where the music came from but where it was going. The D-Minor Partita flowed, within movements and from one movement to the next, like a river breaking off into deltas.

The imposing Chaconne has become a showpiece, but she didn't treat it as one. Rather, she rode its rapids. The point wasn't to control the rush of waves or sound but to become one with the force so that you could celebrate everything around you.

Midori is 42, in early maturity. We can't possibly know where she is headed. But there can be no question she has arrived.






 
 
Midori's Brahms Concerto performance is broadcast on ARTE

Midori's performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Munich Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta in February 2013, recorded for Arte Maestro, was broadcast on June 30th.
For those living outside the ARTE broadcast area, an excerpt can be seen and heard on the producer's website and on the pr2classic website.




 
 
London's Wigmore Hall Celebrates Midori's 20 Years of Community Outreach with a Two-Part Residency
Part 2: February 2013

The second part of Midori's Wigmore Hall residency consisted of a Family Concert, hospital and care home visits and two additional concerts at Wigmore Hall, one "for carers and those they care for" and another for the general public.

The residency honoured the 20th anniversary of Midori's community engagement programmes, which started with Midori and Friends in the United States. Midori's outreach activities expanded with the work of Music Sharing in Japan, the Orchestra Residencies Program and Partners in Performance in the United States and the International Community Engagement Program, an extension of Music Sharing that takes place in various Asian countries.

orp
          Rob Adediron introduces children from Bridge Project
          and Midori to the Family Concert audience at Wigmore Hall


On 22rd February, Midori and students from Bridge Project of London Music Masters presented a Family Concert. Bridge Project identifies and nurtures young children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn to play musical instruments at a high level. Targeting socio-economically-challenged inner-city boroughs, the project encourages children, their families and their communities to develop a life-long appreciation for classical music.

The young audience was very attentive. First, Bridge Project students played a movement of a concerto by Fritz Seitz, accompanied by piano, for Midori and the audience. Then Midori spoke with the performers and with the audience and introduced each of six movements from J.S. Bach's solo sonatas and partitas before performing them.

That afternoon, Midori travelled to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where she performed on several wards and in patients' rooms.


          Midori at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

Midori began February 23rd with a visit to Westmead Elderly Resource Centre, a care home in West London for patients with dementia and other mental and physical disabilities. There she spoke with and played for the residents, their families and carers. That afternoon, she and pianist Özgür Aydin performed a concert at Wigmore Hall "for carers and those they care for". They played single movements from each of the three Beethoven sonatas and the Brahms sonata they would perform in full the following night, as well as Dvořák's Slavonic Dance Op.46 No.2 'Dumka' arranged by Fritz Kreisler and Prokofiev's March from A Love for Three Oranges, arranged by Jascha Heifetz.

On 24th February, Midori and Özgür Aydin performed a recital of works by Beethoven, Bach and Brahms. As encores, they offered the Dvořák and Prokofiev works mentioned above.

Tom Service's interview for BBC Radio 3, in which she discusses her community engagement work can be accessed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pmdd3




 
 
Midori & Friends 20th Anniversary Gala to take place on Thursday 2 May 2013

Midori & Friends will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a Gala on Thursday 2 May at the New-York Historical Society. Highlights will include performances by Midori, by the Grammy Award-winning lyric soprano Ana María Martínez and by young musical stars.

Since its founding in 1992, Midori & Friends has enhanced the lives of almost 200,000 under-served New York City children and their families by providing high-quality music education programs. Serving over 15,000 students each year in 40 public schools and community agency sites in New York City, Midori & Friends focuses on children with little or no access to the arts. Its programs are offered at no cost to students and are available to all children regardless of their musical ability, education, or economic background.

Read more




 
 
The 2013 ORP Season is Underway
12 April 2013

Midori and her doctoral student cum performing assistant Moni Simeonov are in Little Rock, Arkansas in the midst of an Orchestral Residencies Program with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra. Their schedules over the five-day period from Wednesday April 10 through Sunday April 14 are packed with hard work and fun, often simultaneously.

orp

They are blogging so do catch up with them, if you would like to know more.

From Arkansas, Midori and Moni go directly to Reading, Pennsylvania for an ORP with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and Reading Youth Symphony Orchestra from April 17-21. They will continue the blog from Reading.




 
 
Two Orchestra Residencies to Take Place in April
2 April 2013

In mid-April, Midori leads two Orchestra Residencies Programs (ORPs), one in Little Rock, Arkansas between April 10 and April 14, the other in Reading, Pennsylvania between April 17 and April 21.

Each ORP takes place over a five day period, jam-packed with activities such as orchestra classes at schools in the area, coaching and mentoring of young musicians and youth ensembles, rehearsals, radio and television interviews, think-tank meetings with administrative and artistic staff about educational and outreach efforts and opportunities, Q & A sessions, master classes, lectures, pizza parties and performances.

Midori and her assistant Moni Simeonov blog during the residencies, joined by posts from guests who have participated in or been involved in the programs .You can read their reflections at http://orpobservations.wordpress.com/




 
 
Midori Speaks about Peter Eötvös's Violin Concerto DoReMi
29 March 2013

On 18 January 2013, Midori gave the world premiere of DoReMi, the violin concerto composed for her by the Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös. She performed it with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Pablo Heras-Casado.

This month, Midori gives the European premiere of DoReMi with the Leipzig Gewandaus Orchestra and Kent Nagano.

The concerto was co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with whom Midori will also perform the new work later this year.

In this video Midori discusses DoReMi, how she became acquainted with the composer and his music, how they collaborated during rehearsals in preparation for the first performances and much more.




 
 
Midori Offers Master Class at Michigan High School
21 March 2013

On the afternoon of her all-Bach recital at the Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Midori conducted a master class at Andover High School with more than a dozen students. The audience included students from several other schools in the area.




 
 
Apply Now for the Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP) and Partners in Performance (PiP)
11 February 2013

Guidelines and Applications are available for the 2014/2015 seasons
of the Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP) and
Partners in Performance (PiP).

Qualifying youth orchestras are encouraged to apply for ORP and qualifying presenting organizations are encouraged to apply for a PiP grant. Do check the guidelines to see whether your organization meets the criteria.

Please note:
The deadline for ORP applications is 1 March 2013
The deadline for PiP applications is 15 May 2013




 
 
Feature Article on Midori in the Los Angeles Times
11 January 2013

The Los Angeles Times recently ran a feature article on Midori in the run-up to her world premiere performance of Peter Eötvös's new concerto DoReMi, which she performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Pablo Heras-Casado on 18, 19 and 20 January at Walt Disney Hall.

Read Midori is Sweet on Los Angeles




 
 
Midori Interviewed on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show
January 2013

Midori's interview on the Leonard Lopate Show on January 2 2013 can be downloaded.




 
 
Midori Speaks about DoReMi, the Concerto that Peter Eötvös composed for her, prior to the World Premiere on 18 January 2013 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic






 
 
London's Wigmore Hall Celebrates Midori's 20 Years of Community Outreach with a Two-Part Residency

Part 1: November 2012

2012/2013 is not only Midori's 30th anniversary season on the international stage. The season also commemorates the 20th anniversary of the founding of Midori and Friends and Music Sharing, two of her several community engagement.projects in the U.S. and Japan.

Wigmore Hall invited Midori to do a major two-part residency -in November 2012 and February 2013 -consisting of two recitals, a masterclass with young violinists and a public interview, as well as special performances in schools and hospitals around London and, at the Wigmore Hall, concerts for families and for carers and those they care for.

"Midori's inspirational outreach initiatives harmonise with the aims and objectives of Wigmore Hall Learning", a program that provides access to chamber music and song for people who may be excluded from regular arts access. Cath Sewell, Manager, Wigmore Hall Learning, said, "For those of us working in music education, it is hugely inspiring to see and hear that Midori puts no separation between the value of her education and community work and her concert platform appearances as a world class violinist."

On 23rd November, Midori visited Jessop Primary School and Ashmole School, both in South London, where she shared music making with elementary school pupils learning to play the violin through the Bridge Project of London Music Masters http://www.londonmusicmasters.org/about/bridge-project.
The Bridge Project identifies and nurtures young children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn to play musical instruments at a high level. Targeting socio-economically-challenged inner-city boroughs, the project encourages children, their families and their communities to develop a life-long appreciation for classical music. The students performed several pieces for Midori, who played movements of Bach solo sonatas and partitas, spoke with them and answered their many questions.


Wigmore Hall Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall Wigmore Hall
          All photos: Ben Ealovega, London Music Masters Bridge Project students

That afternoon, Midori travelled to the Royal Brompton Hospital, the largest specialist heart and lung hospital in the UK, where she performed in the hospital café and then in wards and individual rooms. The patients, their visiting families and friends and hospital staff asked her to extend her visit to include more wards than originally planned.

On 24th November, back at the Wigmore Hall, Midori gave a master class during which three young violinists tackled works by Janáček, Ysaÿe and Franck respectively. That afternoon, she engaged in a public conversation with the young composer, educator and concert presenter Rachel Leach centering on Midori's community engagement programs around the world and the role that such work plays in her life and her career. The interview was rounded off with a Question and Answer period.

Wigmore Hall Wigmore Hall

On 25th November, Midori and Özgür Aydin performed a recital of works by Beethoven, Webern and Crumb.

An interview for BBC Radio 3 in which Midori speaks to Tom Service about her community engagement work was broadcast on Saturday 5 January at 12:15p.m. in the UK.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pmdd3

The second part of Midori's Wigmore Hall Residency takes place in February 2013. She will give a performance for children above the age of 5 and their families, another for carers and those they care for, and a third for a general audience.




 
 
THE YEAR IN PICTURES 2012

In 2012, Midori gave recitals in Europe, Japan and the United States and performed concertos from Brahms and Mendelssohn to Hindemith and Britten with orchestras in the United States and Europe. Orchestra Residencies (ORPs) took place in Alexandria, Virginia and Eugene, Oregon and Partners in Performance (PiP) recitals in Morehead, Kentucky, Columbia, Kentucky and Melbourne, Florida. With the beginning of her 2012/2013 season, the 30th of her international career, she brought her Bach Project of solo Bach sonatas and partitas to audiences in North America and in Japan, where she performed in 13 different shrines, temples and churches in July. The 20th anniversary of the founding of Midori and Friends was celebrated with a Residency at London's Wigmore Hall in November with a combination of concerts and outreach activities. Midori rounded out the calendar year with an International Community Engagement Project (ICEP) in Bangladesh.

The photos below recall some of these activities.

THE YEAR IN PICTURES 2012




 
 
Midori's 30th Anniversary Season Begins with Bach Project in Japan

10 July 2012

MIDORI celebrates her 30th anniversary on the international stage during the 2012-2013 concert season. One element of her 30th anniversary will be performances of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin in the US, Japan and Europe.

When Midori started to play in public, she would often do so at community centers, which included houses of worship such as churches and synagogues. She remembers these critical experiences and the warmth with which she was welcomed with fondness and appreciation. It is important for young performers to have such opportunities, which contribute to the formation of their artistic identities.

In July and August 2012, Midori will play Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin at shrines, temples, and churches in Japan, most of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Designated National Treasures and/or Designated Important National Cultural Properties. As part of Midori's ongoing efforts to bring people together within communities-at-large, she and her anniversary planning committee hope that her performances will promote peace and express hopes for reconstruction in areas recovering from natural disasters and world tragedies, including that of the Higashi Nihon Great Earthquake.

The 30th Anniversary Bach Tour in Japan is sponsored by Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS Co., Ltd.

Each of the performance venues has an significant historical background. The dates of Midori's concerts and brief information on the churches, temples and shrines can be found below:

July 15, 2012
AOSAGAURA CHURCH, Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture

aosagaura

The islands of the Goto Archipelago are located off the northern shores of Nagasaki. It was to this southwestern-most part of Japan that the country's persecuted Christians fled centuries ago to be able to practice their faith in peace. The Catholic faith was brought to Japan in 1549 by the great Jesuit missionary to Asia, St. Francis Xavier. Soon after, however, Japanese lords, feeling threatened by the Christians in their midst, began systematic purges, torturing and killing their victims, some of whom fled to the Goto Islands. There, Roman Catholic communities revolved around the parish, their calendar coinciding with the church calendar. These were the Kakure Kirishitans ("Hiding Christians").

Today, around 25% of the inhabitants of the Goto Islands are Roman Catholic, in a country where the total number of Christians is under 1%. Some of the Catholic churches are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Aosagaura Church was established in 1878 and was reconstructed three times, including a major renovation in 1984. It has been a Designated Important National Cultural Property since 2001.

July 17, 2012
URAKAMI CATHEDRAL, Nagasaki in Nagasaki Prefecture

urakami

In 1865 almost all the Urakami villagers were Christian but, between 1869 and 1873, they were banished and many died. They returned to their home village in 1873 and, after a longstanding ban on Christianity was lifted, they built their own church. The building of the original Urakami Cathedral began in 1895. A Romanesque-style building of brick and stone, it was completed in 1925 and was the largest Catholic Church in East Asia.

The atomic bomb that fell on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 destroyed the building and all the worshipers who were celebrating a sacrament. The city government suggested preserving the destroyed cathedral as a historic site and rebuilding nearby but the worshipers preferred to rebuild their cathedral on the original site. Reconstruction of the church was completed in 1959. It contains the Angelus "Bell of Peace" which is rung each August 9th as part of a memorial ceremony that recognizes both sides of the war - the Americans who died at Pearl Harbor and the Japanese who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The head of what was once a 6-foot-tall statue of the Virgin Mary in the Urakami Cathedral was found after the bombing, half bleached white and half charcoal black. It has become a symbol of peace.

July 18, 2012
DAZAIFU TENMAN-GU, Dazaifu in Fukuoka Prefecture.

dazaifu

Among the Shinto shrines throughout Japan, Dazaifu is the most important. Dazaifu Tenman-gu is dedicated to the spirit of Sugawara no Michizane (845-903), who was a scholar, poet and politician during the Heian Period. Michizane wrote poetry from the age of 7. His political career developed and he became influential within the imperial court but rivalries arose between him and the dominant Fujiwara clan, who eventually banished Michizane from the capital city of Kyoto to Dazaifu, where he died a few years later. Dazaifu Tenman-gu is built on the site of Sugawara no Michizane's grave. Its honden (main building) was built in 905, two years after his death. The shrine is also known for its 6,000 plum trees, one of which stands directly to the right of the honden. Because of his great learning, Michizane is associated with Tenjin, a Shinto deity of education.

Preceding this concert, there will be a special dedicatory performance in the main sanctuary.

July 20 & 21, 2012
JODO SHINSHU HONGWANJI-HA HONGWANJI (NISHI HONGWANJI), Kyoto in Kyoto-Fu.

hongwanji

The Shin Buddhist path was founded by Shinran Shonin (1173-1263) during the Kamakura period and, over the course of several centuries, grew into one of the largest and most influential schools of Buddhism in Japan, a position it maintains today. Hongwanji ("Temple of the Original Vow") is the headquarters of the Hongwanji denomination of Shin Buddhism (Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha) and is known as Nishi ("West") Hongwanji. The temple was founded in 1272 by Shinran Shonin's daughter and is considered one of the finest examples of Momoyama architecture in Kyoto. It is spread over several acres of courtyards and gardens and is listed as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On July 20, Midori will perform on the Noh stage in the Shoin. The audience will be seated in a separate space called the Taimensho in the Shoin. The Noh stage on which Midori will perform is a Designated Important National Cultural Property and the Taimensho is a Designated National Treasure. The performance on July 21 will take place in the Goeido (Founder's Hall) which is a Designated Important National Cultural Property.

July 23 & 24, 2012
ZENKO-JI, Nagano in Nagano Prefecture

zenkoji

Zenko-Ji is a Buddhist temple built in the 7th century, before Buddhism in Japan split into several different sects. It currently belongs to both the Tendai and Jodoshu schools of Buddhism. In 642 Yoshimitsu Honda enshrined a Buddhist image, called "The Image of Sangoku Denrai" at the present site. The image, which had been brought to Japan from China, is believed to lead all people, regardless of their status, gender or creed, to the Buddhist Pure Land. The image was completely hidden from sight in 654 and has never been seen since. The temple was named "Zenko-Ji," which literally means "Yoshimitsu's temple" according to the transliteration of Yoshimitsu's name from the Chinese characters. The concert will take place in the main sanctuary of this temple, which is a Designated National Treasure.

July 25, 2012
NIKKO TOSHOGU SHRINE, Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture

nikko

Toshogu Shrine is where the famous founder of the Tokugawa shogunate of the Edo Period in the 17th century, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was worshiped after his death. It was initially built in 1617, when Ieyasu's son Hidetada was shogun. It became as luxurious and elaborate as it appears today when it was reconstructed by the grandson of Ieyasu, the third Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu. Tokugawa Ieyasu is enshrined here. The engravings on the Yomei-mon Gate are especially impressive and in beautiful colors. The engravings of the three monkeys in Shinkyu-sha and Nemuri-neko, the sleeping cat, are also well known. Nikko Toshogu is part of the "Shrines and Temples of Nikko," a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The concert will be preceded by a dedicatory performance in the Prayer Hall.

July 27 & 28, 2012
CHUSON-JI, Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture

chusonji

Chuson-Ji is a Buddhist temple and one of the most beautiful Fujiwara-jidai temples in Japan. It is the head temple of the Tendai sect, built between 1105 and 1126 by Kiyohira Fujiwara, the first lord of the Fujiwara clan. Much of it was destroyed in a big fire in 1337 but the Konjikido (Golden Hall) survived. The rest of the temple was rebuilt in the 17th century. The famous Japanese poet Matsuo Basho wrote about it in Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Interior). Chuson-Ji is a symbol of survival, having also survived the recent earthquake with minor damage. It is located away from the tsunami damage of 3/11, but it is near the damaged towns of Kesenuma, Rikuzen-Takata, Ofunato, Ishinomaki, and Sendai. Chuson-Ji was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

July 30 & 31, 2012
MOTOMACHI CATHOLIC CHURCH, Hakodate in Hokkaido

hakodate
          Photo:Masao Obara

The Catholic missionary Rev. Fr. Mermet de Cashon arrived in Hakodate in 1859 and built a chapel there in 1861. The current church was built in 1924 after previous ones burnt down in 1868 and 1921. The luxurious altar was a gift from Pope Benedict XV.






 
 
MIDORI RECEIVES HONORARY DOCTORATE FROM YALE UNIVERSITY

23 May 2012

On Monday, 21 May 2012, in recognition of her accomplishments as musician, educator, and community engagement activist, Midori was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree (Mus.D.) by Yale University. Since 1702, Yale has conferred honorary degrees in order to recognize individuals of extraordinary accomplishment and service. This year, Midori joins the following eight other honorees whose work has made a significant impact in one of the ten fields in which Yale awards honorary degrees:

Aaron Beck M.D.
Doctor of Medical Sciences (D.M.S.)

Robert Darnton
Doctor of Humanities (D.Hum)

Robert Gates
Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.)

Jane Lubchenco
Doctor of Science (Sc.D.)

Margaret H. Marshall
Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.)

Angelika Neuwirth
Doctor of Divinity (D.D.)

Richard Wilbur
Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.)

William Julius Wilson
Doctor of Social Science (S.Sc.D)

This year's honorary degrees were conferred at the annual commencement ceremonies on the Yale campus, attended by the Class of 2012, their families and guests, Yale faculty and distinguished alumni. A private luncheon hosted by Yale President Richard Levin was held after the ceremonies to celebrate the new honorees.

The citation read by President Richard C. Levin as he bestowed Midori's degree was,

"Midori - Doctor of Music
With poise, precision, and artistry, you have been acclaimed as one of the world's great violinists since the age of 14. Equally gifted in the classical and the contemporary repertoire, you have embraced new music even as you bring interpretative brilliance to the composers of the past. And your philanthropic ventures have extended your influence far beyond the concert hall. You provide music education to 15,000 New York City children each year, and you promote music as a force for good in your role as a United Nations Messenger for Peace. For your supreme talent and your commitment to education and community wellbeing, we are pleased to name you Doctor of Music."

Midori said, "It is thrilling to receive this honorary doctorate from Yale University and it is truly humbling to contemplate the company I'm in! I started out playing music because of the joy it brings to our lives, but in my work I am also discovering every day the power music has to heal, to educate, to stimulate the human mind in multiple dimensions. It is deeply gratifying and inspiring to know that Yale recognizes and values this work."

Other recipients of honorary degrees from Yale in the 310 years since the inception of the program have included Benjamin Franklin (1753), Noah Webster (1823), Samuel F.B. Morse (1846), Charles Ives (1874), Nikola Tesla (1894), Ignace Jan Paderewski (1917), Marie Curie (1921), Willa Cather (1929), Fiorello LaGuardia (1940), Felix Frankfurter (1961), Jean Piaget (1970), Stephen Hawking (1989), Mario Vargas Llosa (1994) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2003).




Photo:Michael Marsland, Yale Office of Public Affairs


 
 
MIDORI IS ELECTED TO THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

17 April 2012

Midori has been elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the country's most prestigious honorary societies.

The Academy is a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities, culture, and education.

AAS

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

On learning of her election, Midori said, "I am surprised and deeply honored to have been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and to be part of such a distinguished body of extraordinary achievers in the humanities. This serves to inspire in me an even greater commitment to my work in education and community engagement -two of the greatest sources of joy in my life."

"Election to the Academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve," said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. "We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 6, at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.




 
 
MIDORI'S PERFORMANCE OF THE BRAHMS CONCERTO TO BE BROADCAST LIVE ON MEDICI TV

16 April 2012

medici

Midori's performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto at L'Auditori in Barcelona on Saturday 14 April with the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya under conductor Vasily Petrenko was broadcast live on the medici.tv website. The entire concert, which also included works by Montsalvatge and Elgar will remain available on the medici.tv website for 90 days.

Midori also played an encore: the Prelude from J.S. Bach's Partita No.3 in E for solo violin, incorrectly identified on screen as the first movement of Ysaÿe's Sonata No. 2.




 
 
MIDORI RECEIVES THE CRYSTAL AWARD AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS, SWITZERLAND

25 January 2012

WEF
          (C)2012 World Economic Forum / Sebastian Derungs

Midori received the prestigious Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in recognition of her "20-year devotion to community engagement work worldwide". The World Economic Forum bestows the Crystal Award on artists who have used their art and influence to contribute to international society. Previous winners of the Crystal Award have included the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, "El Sistema" founder José A.Abreu, and Indian dancer Mallika Sarabhai.

The award ceremony took place on January 25th.
To read Midori's acceptance speech:

The following morning, Midori took part in a session moderated by Michael E.Haefliger, Executive and Artistic Director of the Lucerne Festival, during which she presented a video about her community engagement projects and efforts around the world, spoke about her life and work with Mr.Haefliger and took questions from members of the audience.



(C)2012 World Economic Forum / Remy Steinegger


(C)2012 World Economic Forum / Andy Mettler


 
 
ORCHESTRA RESIDENCIES PROGRAM 2013/1014 APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE

23 January 2012

The Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP) is now accepting applications for 2013/2014. The deadline is March 1, 2012. Please visit the Applications & Guidelines page for details.

Each season, through The Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP), Midori spends five to seven days working intensively with youth orchestras, performing with the related adult symphonies, and participating in assorted education, advocacy and outreach projects. Read more

This season's ORPs will take place in Oregon (with the Eugene Symphony and Arts Umbrella youth orchestras) and in Virginia (with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and Arlington County/ T.C. Williams High School Orchestras). In 2012/2013, there will be ORPS in Arkansas (with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra) and in Pennsylvania (with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra).




 
 
PARTNERS IN PERFORMANCE 2013/2014 APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE

23 January 2012

Partners in Performance (PiP) seeks applicants for the 2013/2014 season. The deadline for submitting applications in May 15, 2012.

Founded by Midori in 2003, Partners in Performance is a non-profit organization that co-presents chamber music concerts with the goal of stimulating interest in classical music in smaller communities outside the radius and without the financial resources of major urban centers.

PiP has already sponsored over twenty concerts in states from Maine to Washington. In May 2012 Midori and pianist Charles Abramovic perform PiP recitals in Melbourne, Florida and Morehead Kentucky. The successful applicant for a PiP recital in the 2012/2013 season is the Arts and Lecture Series of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky.




 
 
MIDORI IN CHINA

14 January 2012

SCCM
          Midori rehearses with SCCM (Sichuan Conservatory of
          Music) Orchestra at SCCM concert hall
          (C)QLHW Mgt. Ltd.

Midori spent a week in China in December 2011, performing concerts in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Chengdu and taking part in a masterclass and outreach activity.

Here she writes about her visit and shares some of her impressions:

The Sichuan Conservatory of Music, located in Chengdu, is probably the largest in the world with over 14,000 students, including several hundred violinists and a few dozen violin faculty members. In addition to the expected programs of a music conservatory, they also own and run a publishing house and a three-star SCCM Philharmonic Hotel.

My trip was organized by cellist Mingwei Zhao, an alumnus of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. Mingwei has just returned home after about eight years of study in the United States. For a few semesters at USC I had the pleasure of having him under my wing in chamber music coachings. He has been invited by his alma mater to join its faculty and to serve as the principal cello for its recently created conservatory faculty orchestra. This orchestra is one of the rare conservatory orchestras in the world with its own paying subscription series.

Mingwei has gotten to know me well through the years. He knew that I would want to be kept busy while in Chengdu and that I like spicy food. He arranged for three young musicians from the Conservatory's High School to play with me in a quartet and for the quartet to perform in three different venues (an Economics university, an elementary school, and a kindergarten). Mingwei also arranged for me to give a violin masterclass in addition to my concerto performance. We also made trips to enjoy some spicy and very pungent Sichuan cuisine.

China is bursting with modern architecture. For a fan of modernist building works, Guangzhou and Shenzhen offer an exciting array of structures. In Guangzhou I had the pleasure of performing at the Opera House designed by the Pritzker Architecture prize winner Zaha Hadid. The building gives one a sense of being in a spaceship, both from the inside and the outside. Looking at the building is as impressive and inspiring as being inside it, and it is an awesome feeling to be in such a space.




 
 
UPDATED EDITION OF EINFACH MIDORI RELEASED IN GERMANY

13 January 2012

Einfach Midori
          EINFACH MIDORI

Henschel Verlag has published an updated edition of Midori's autobiography, Einfach Midori (Simply Midori), containing a new last chapter. As previously, the book appears in German only and will not be translated into any other language. Einfach Midori was published during Midori's recent recital tour of Germany.

Purchase Einfach Midori on www.Amazon.de




 
 
MIDORI NAMED DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR BY THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

12 January 2012

University of Southern California president C.L.Max Nikias has named Midori Goto a Distinguished Professor, an award given "very selectively to those whose accomplishments have brought special renown to USC".

The official announcement reads as follows:

Midori Goto, Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Chair in Violin, is chair of the Strings Department. She began performing at a young age, made her orchestral debut with the New York Philharmonic at 11, and by her early teens was an internationally acclaimed violinist. She has been named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations and a Crystal Award winner by the World Economic Forum. She has founded three non-profit organizations which bring music education and social welfare programs to thousands of underserved children worldwide each year. Midori balances her administrative and teaching schedule at USC where she is committed to introducing innovative ideas and new opportunities for the community, as well as preserving the traditions of her field, with recitals, chamber music performances, masterclasses, and appearances with the world's most prestigious orchestras.




 
 
THE YEAR IN PICTURES 2011

Midori performed a score of concertos in 2011, from Beethoven to Walton, throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including a sold-out BBC Prom at London's Royal Albert Hall. She gave recitals on all three continents as well: performances with pianists Charles Abramovic and Özgür Aydin, chamber music concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall and Washington DC's Kennedy Center, among others, and all-contemporary recitals featuring works by Hugh Watkins, Brett Dean, Toshio Hosokawa, James MacMillan and John Adams on the East and West coasts of the U.S. Midori conducted an Orchestra Residency (ORP) in Davenport, Iowa and led international ORPS in Peru and Bulgaria, gave a Partners in Performance (PiP) recital in Fort Kent, Maine and took part in Music Sharing activities throughout Japan, including chamber music recitals with the string quartet that had participated in the 2010 International Community Engagement Program (ICEP) in Laos.

The photos below recall some of these activities.

THE YEAR IN PICTURES 2011




 
 
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM TO HONOR MIDORI FOR HER COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WORK

28 December 2011

Midori will receive the prestigious Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on 25 January 2012 in recognition of her devotion to community engagement work worldwide over the last two decades.

Previous winners of the Crystal Award, which recognizes artists who have used their art and influence to improve the state of the world, have included Yo-Yo Ma, the founder of "El Sistema" José Abreu and the Indian dancer Mallika Sarabhai. Read more




 
 
MIDORI PERFORMS WITH THE USC THORNTON SYMPHONY

15 September 2011

Midori flew home to California, in a tight window between concerts in Liverpool, England and Bucharest, Romania, to take part in a private concert kicking off a major fundraising campaign for the University of Southern California (USC).

At USC's Bovard Auditorium, she performed Beethoven's Violin Concerto with the USC Thornton Symphony conducted by its principal conductor Carl St. Clair. This being the Orchestra of USC's Thornton School of Music, where Midori is chair of the Strings Department and holds the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin, she found herself in the unusual position of knowing everyone in the entire string section by name. Either they were her students or she had auditioned them for admission.

The concert, which also included Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, was broadcast live on KUSC, Southern California's 24-hour public radio station presenting classical music 24 hours a day.




 
 
MIDORI STARTS HER NEW SEASON WITH AN INTERNATIONAL ORCHESTRAL RESIDENCY IN LIMA, PERU

29 August-4 September 2011

Midori took part in an International Orchestra Residency Program in Lima, Peru. Her student Moni Simeonov accompanied her as he has done for several Orchestra Residency Programs in the US as well as to one in Bulgaria in May. Among their many activities were master classes, sectional and full orchestral rehearsals with youth orchestras, impromptu chamber music sessions, Q& A sessions, a visit to an orphanage built with funds from the Japanese embassy in Peru, a television interview and, as always, a lot of eating of familiar and unfamiliar food among new friends.

The residency culminated in Midori's performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil (Youth Orchestra) led by its Peruvian born, Curtis and Juilliard trained conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, who is currently Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in Texas. The other works on the program were Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet and Cascay by the Peruvian composer and musicologist Francisco Pulgar Vidal.

As Moni said in his blog, "I feel like this residency will be at least as educational for Midori and me as it will be for the students."

Read about Midori and Moni's adventures http://orpobservations.wordpress.com/




 
 
MIDORI PERFORMS AT THE BBC PROMS WITH THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA/ANDRIS NELSONS

30 July 2011

The night after her triumphant performance at Birmingham's Symphony Hall, Midori appeared at the BBC Proms in the 5,000+ seat sold-out Royal Albert Hall with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Andris Nelsons in William Walton's violin concerto. The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and transmitted an hour and a half later on BBC Two TV, including an intermission interview with BBC presenter Katie Derham.

"Midori was....a natural partner for Nelsons in her concern for flow and her eschewal of technical for emotional virtuosity. Indeed, the tenderness in the first movement was so deep and sensuous that one quite forgot its composer was an Englishman." (The Guardian)

"What a piece. Midori played it with such soft-grained lustre and delicate inflection that the sound itself seemed almost disembodied. ....I have rarely heard the sognando (dreamy) quality of this exotic, sun-kissed, music so sensuously addressed." (The Independent)

"Magnificent Midori
In the Albert Hall her sound felt small.... Yet that fragility only underlined the rapture of her playing. At times the violin was barely a breath in the air but Midori also produced throatiness and exuberance. The second movement dance slinked sensually, the closing movement had comic opera humour; this performance had not an ounce of excess weight."
(The Evening Standard)




 
 
MIDORI'S BBC PROMS PERFORMANCE WILL BE BROADCAST ON TV AND RADIO

26 July 2011

Midori's BBC Proms performance of the Walton Violin Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons at the Royal Albert Hall on July 30th will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 beginning at 7:30 p.m. local time. A delayed broadcast on BBC television (BBC2) will be screened at 9 p.m. local time.

The radio broadcast will be available online worldwide for one week at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/radio.
The television broadcast will be accessible online for one week
in the UK only at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/tv.




 
 
ICEP 2010/2011 CONCLUDES WITH FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES AND REPORTING EVENTS IN JAPAN

May/June 2011

Kuzuu
          "Kuzuu Elementary School"  Photo: Music Sharing

Midori and the three young musicians who accompanied her to Laos with the International Community Engagement Program (ICEP) in December 2010, re-assembled in Japan in May/June 2011 for two additional weeks of reporting events and concerts.

Read about their activities in Japan




 
 
MIDORI GOES TO BULGARIA FOR AN INTERNATIONAL ORCHESTRA RESIDENCY PROGRAM

May 2011

Midori and her doctoral student at USC, Moni Simeonov, travelled to Sofia and Plovdiv in his native Bulgaria to do an international Orchestra Residency Program (ORP).

Laos

Midori started doing ORPs in the United States in 2004. You can read more about ORP on its dedicated website: http://www.gotomidori.com/orp/index.html. Moni has joined her for several of these. He is a natural communicator, loves community engagement activities and has been very popular everywhere he goes because of his great sense of humor and his excellent teaching skills.
In addition to musical preoccupations, Moni's cousin took him and Midori to a small town outside of Plovdiv, where they were introduced to the Mayor. He, in turn, introduced Midori to the owner of Radka, the cow, who showed Midori how to milk her. Doesn't Midori look like a "natural"?

Laos


Moni will write about the IORP soon for the website.




 
 
ORCHESTRA RESIDENCIES FOR 2012/2013 ANNOUNCED

April 2011

Congratulations to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra in Little Rock, Arkansas and to the Reading Symphony Orchestra and Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra in Reading, Pennsylvania, selected for Midori's Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP) in 2012/2013.




 
 
MIDORI SPEAKS TO UNITED NATIONS RADIO ABOUT RECENT EVENTS IN JAPAN

11 April 2011

http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/




 
 
ORCHESTRA RESIDENCY PROGRAM IN DAVENPORT, IOWA

13-17 April 2011

Between April 13 and 17, Midori and her student Moni Simeonov conduct a residency with the Quad City Symphony and Youth Symphony Orchestrasin Davenport, Iowa.

The four days will be filled with appearances at schools, a rehabilitation center and a museum, a masterclass, radio interview, breakfasts, lunches and dinners with students, orchestra patrons and local educators, all culminating in two performances of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra under Mark Russell Smith.

Please visit the ORP Observations blog for daily updates from Midori and others on this and previous residencies.




 
 
MIDORI RECORDS PSA FOR THE PEOPLE OF JAPAN

25 March, 2011

Midori has recorded a public service announcement on behalf of the United Nations for broadcast to the Japanese people offering words of comfort in their time of difficulty.

Midori has also made a substantial personal contribution to the Japan Red Cross to aid the victims of the recent multiple disasters.




 
 
6th INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM (ICEP) BANGLADESH/JAPAN POSTPONED

April 2011

As a result of the devastating disasters in Japan, Music Sharing has decided to postpone the 6th ICEP Bangladesh/Japan, previously scheduled for December 2011 and June 2012. Auditions for ICEP quartet members and an accompanying photographer have therefore been adjourned.

In place of the ICEP Bangladesh/Japan, Music Sharing is considering how it can best provide support and revitalization to victims of the disasters through the healing power of music.

Music Sharing will resume auditions for this revised agenda and will announce its plans on this website in the coming weeks.




 
 
MIDORI TO PERFORM NEW MUSIC RECITALS IN MARCH:
Program to feature works by Watkins, Dean, Hosokawa, MacMillan and Adams


March 2011

Midori and pianist Charles Abramovic are preparing a series of New Music Recitals for performance in Costa Mesa, California; Greenville, North Carolina; South Orange, New Jersey; and New York's Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall between March 9 and 23.

Midori has performed New Music Recitals in Japan (2004/2005), the US (2006, 2010) and Europe (2008). Following her recital with Charles Abramovic in San Francisco in 2010, Jeff Dunn wrote an article in the San Francisco Classical Voice entitled Midori Does It All and Well: "Violinist Midori proved Saturday in Herbst Theatre, under the auspices of San Francisco Performances, that a healthy musical diet can consist almost solely of works written in the 1990s. Her superb musicianship and faultless programming instincts produced one of the best recent-music chamber concerts I have heard in some time. And I mean produced, for not only did Midori plan the program and perform, she also gave master classes and lectures on it at the San Francisco Conservatory, and even wrote a fine set of program notes. Midori is an A to Z concertizer." Dunn's article was illustrated with the following:

Midori, good for you

Midori and Charles Abramovic's program this season consists of Coruscation and Reflection (1998) by Huw Watkins, Berlin Music (2010) by Brett Dean, Vertical Time Study III (1994) by Toshio Hosokawa, After the Tryst (1988) by James MacMillan and Road Movies by John Adams.

New Music Recitals 2011 Newsletter




 
 
MIDORI PREMIERES BRETT DEAN'S BERLIN MUSIC

21 February 2011

Midori and Charles Abramovic performed the world première of Berlin Music by Australian composer Brett Dean during their recital at Stockholm's Konserthuset on February 13. They subsequently performed Berlin Music, which was commissioned by and dedicated to Midori, in Castellón, Spain and at the Wigmore Hall, London on February 20. In March, they introduce it in the United States in recitals in California, North Carolina, New Jersey and New York's Carnegie Hall. Midori will perform Berlin Music in Japan at a future date.

Berlin Music recalls the years, between the mid-1980s and 2000, when the composer lived in Berlin as a budding composer and as a member of the viola section of the Berliner Philharmoniker. It pays homage to the role Berlin's rich musical life played in Dean's development.

Brett Dean's program note for Berlin Music

About Brett Dean

Brett Dean on composing Berlin Music for Midori




 
 
APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN FOR DECEMBER 2011 ICEP IN BANGLADESH

March 2011

Music Sharing invites eligible violinists, violists and cellists to apply for the 6th International Community Engagement Program. From 15-30 December 2011, Midori and the selected musicians will create ensembles to give concerts and music presentations in various settings in Bangladesh, including rural areas with limited access to live music. From May 20-June 10, 2012, ICEP participants will give a series of presentations in Japan, in which they will perform and share their individual experiences with audiences of music professionals, journalists and the general public. The application form and guidelines may be downloaded from Music Sharing's website. The application deadline is July 1, 2011.




 
 
THE YEAR IN PICTURES 2010

Midori performed concertos on four continents in 2010, from Auckland to Guangzhou to New York to Zurich and gave recitals in Europe (Germany, Poland, Ireland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland and Turkey) and throughout the United States, including two stimulating all-contemporary recitals in Princeton, New Jersey. She did Orchestra Residencies (ORPs) in New Orleans, Louisiana and Fargo, North Dakota, gave Partners in Performance (PiP) recitals in Bemidji, Minnesota and Woodstock, Virginia, took part in Music Sharing activities in Japan and spearheaded the 2010 International Community Engagement Program (ICEP), which took place in Laos.

The photos below recall some of these activities.
THE YEAR IN PICTURES 2010




 
 
ICEP LAOS REACHES 4000 STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND LOCAL PEOPLE

December 2010

Laos
          "Luang Prabang Orphanage School"  Photo: Shinobu Suzuki

Between December 20-30 2010, Midori led a quartet of young musicians on Music Sharing's fifth International Community Engagement Program (ICEP), this time to Laos. They travelled extensively, visiting numerous schools, hospitals and other institutions and performed a total of 21 concerts for approximately 4,000 students, teachers and locals.

Learn more about ICEP Laos




 
 
ICEP 2010 IN LAOS

December 2010

As 2010 drew to a close, a string quartet consisting of Midori and three other musicians travelled to Laos as part of Music Sharing's International Community Engagement Program (ICEP).

In Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Bolikhamsay, they took part in lecture concerts and cultural exchanges at schools, a hospital, an orphanage and a youth center. They also gave a concert at the Laos-Japan Budo (martial arts) Center.


As has been the case with previous ICEPs in Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Mongolia, the 2010 ICEP was a deeply moving, eye-opening experience for Midori and her colleagues. Look for more information about it in the PROJECTS section of this website in the coming months.
Read about their visit to the National School of Music and Dance in Vientiane



Visiting Concert at Luang Prabang
(Photo: Shinobu Suzuki)


 
 
MIDORI PERFORMS FOUR NEW 4-MINUTE WORKS AT MEET THE COMPOSER EVENT

25 October 2010

On 25 October, at a sparkling soiree to benefit Meet the Composer, Midori launched the Midori/Repin Commissioning Project with a performance of four new works she and Vadim Repin have commissioned through the organization. The private, catered event was held at the beautiful hilltop home of George and Marie Hecksher, prominent patrons of the arts in San Francisco.

The new works, all for solo violin, are by Derek Bermel, Lee Hyla, Krzysztof Penderecki and Rodion Shchedrin. The Midori/Repin Commissioning Project was initiated to encourage the composition of short solo violin pieces for performance as encores, in media promotion and in community work. Midori and Repin narrowed the initial field to four composers whose work they admire and Meet the Composer helped match the composers with individual donors.

After welcoming the guests, George Hecksher introduced Meet the Composer president Ed Harsh, who described MTC's mission and introduced Midori. Two of the composers, Lee Hyla and Derek Bermel, were present and each spoke about his compositions and the experience of working with Midori prior to the work's premiere. Two of the donors, Kathy Henschel and Susan Carson, spoke about the importance of commissioning new music. San Francisco Performances President Ruth Felt, who had helped to organize the evening's event, spoke briefly about Midori's dedication to new music and to education. Midori made brief remarks before playing each piece and at the end of the program, when she also responded to questions from audience members.




 
 
MIDORI TAKES PART IN THE UN'S INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

21 September 2010

Midori took part in the UN's International Day of Peace in New York City together with world leaders and other UN Messengers of Peace. Established by the United Nations in 1981, the International Day of Peace is celebrated with thousands of events all over the world. At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rang the Peace Bell and doves were released into the sky.

The UN took the opportunity of the International Day of Peace to promote its International Millennium Development Goals. The target for achieving these goals is 2015.


Read Ban Ki-moon's remarks at the Peace Bell Ceremony
Learn about the International Day of Peace
Information on the UN's Millennium Development Goals



L to R: Goedele Liekens, Belgian television personality and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA); Catarina Furtado, actress and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador; Yoo Soon-taek (Mr. Ban's wife); Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Kim Yuna, Olympic-winning figure skater and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF);Midori
UN Photo


 
 
MIDORI AT THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL

August 2010

Midori made her debut at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival with three appearances. The weather in Edinburgh was fine, which was an added pleasure. On August 25th, she spoke about her career, including recent adventures and upcoming events, during an 'Artist Conversation'. The following day, she gave a recital with pianist Özgür Aydin. In keeping with the theme for the 2010 Edinburgh Festival, "The New World", they performed, among others, Ernst Bloch's Sonata No.2 and the Duo Capriccioso by Mario Davidovsky. Bloch, born in Geneva in 1880, moved to the United States in 1916 and took American citizenship in 1924, the same year in which he composed the Sonata No.2. Davidovsky, born in Argentina in 1934, moved to the United States in 1960. As an encore, they played Romance by the American composer Amy Beach.

On August 28th, Midori performed Leonard Bernstein's Serenade for Violin and Orchestra with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Donald Runnicles. The Serenade was composed in 1954 and was inspired by Plato's Symposium. This was the work that Midori performed at the Tanglewood Festival in 1986 with Bernstein on the podium, when she famously broke two strings on two different violins in the fifth movement, but kept playing without missing a beat, like a seasoned professional. She was only 14 years old at the time. Midori performed the work subsequently under Bernstein's direction; the last time, in 1990, was the penultimate performance he conducted before his death. The Edinburgh concert under Donald Runnicles was the first time Midori had performed the Serenade with anyone other than the composer.




 
 
MIDORI FEATURED ON COMMONWEALTH CLUB'S
"ASCENT OF WOMAN" SERIES


August 2010

Midori was a featured guest in the Commonwealth Club of California's The Ascent of Woman series on 20 August 2010. The event took the form of a conversation between Midori and San Francisco Performances President Ruth Felt, who has presented Midori in performance frequently over the years. It took place at the Commonwealth Club's San Francisco headquarters and was recorded for delayed broadcast on national public radio (NPR), and for posting on the Commonwealth Club website.
http://podcast.com/episode/62720940/126856/

The Ascent of Woman delved into women's lives today and the multitude of definitions of what a "woman's place" is. In addition to Midori, the line-up for the August 2010 series included the Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Elizabeth H. Blackburn, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, architect Julia Morgan and women from Israel, Somalia and Afghanistan.

The Commonwealth Club is the United States's oldest and largest public affairs forum, founded in 1903 to present prominent political and cultural figures in discussion of the important issues of the day. Previous interviewees have included Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Bill Clinton and Bill Gates.




 
 
MIDORI FEATURED ON AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA'S PERFORMANCE TODAY

13 July 2010

250 radio stations across the United States broadcast an hour-long program about Midori today, featuring her in interview with Fred Child and in performance with Robert McDonald. Participants in the Orchestra Residencies Program in Fargo ND are also interviewed.

Performance Today reaches an audience of 1.3 million listeners. The feature is available permanently worldwide as streaming audio.
http://performancetoday.publicradio.org.




 
 
MIDORI INTERVIEWED FOR BIG THINK

9 July 2010

Midori has participated in Big Think, a global forum connecting people and ideas. Her interview on video took place at Big Think's New York studios on 9 July. After editing, it will be posted on the Big Think website,http://bigthink.com/.. Sign up at http://bigthink. com/ideas/20877 to be informed when Midori's Big Think interview will be available.




 
 
MICHAEL KAISER ON THE KENNEDY CENTER'S SUMMIT IN JAPAN

21 June 2010

The Huffington Post of 21 June 2010 contains an article by the President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Michael Kaiser about the Center's International Committee on the Arts summit in Japan this year at which Midori was honoured.

Read Michael Kaiser's article: click here.




 
 
SHENANDOAH UNIVERSITY AWARDS MIDORI AN HONORARY DOCTORATE

May 2010

The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival presented Midori and pianist Charles Abramovic in a Partners in Performance recital on May 7, 2010. The concert took place at Shenandoah University's Armstrong Auditorium in the Virginia countryside, among many ceremonies and activities marking the start of the commencement weekend. Following the program of music by Beethoven, Janáček, Sallinen and Strauss, Shenandoah University presented Midori with an honorary degree: Doctor of Music, honoris causa. As Midori remarked to the audience, this is her first diploma in music!



Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Midori, Senior Vice President & Vice President for Academic Affairs Bryon Grigsby, and Shenandoah Conservatory Dean Michael Stepniak


 
 
APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN FOR DECEMBER 2010 ICEP IN LAOS

Music Sharing invites eligible violinists, violists and cellists to apply for the 5th International Community Engagement Program. From 15 - 30 December 2010, Midori and the selected musicians will create ensembles to give concerts and music presentations in various settings in Laos, including rural areas with limited access to live music. From May 22 - June 10, 2011, ICEP participants will give a series of presentations in Japan, in which they will perform and share their individual experiences with audiences of music professionals, journalists and the general public. The application form and guidelines may be downloaded from Music Sharing's website. The application deadline is July 1, 2010.




 
 
"A LANDMARK EVENT" CELEBRATES MIDORI & FRIENDS PROGRAMS
May 2010

On Saturday May 8, Midori & Friends celebrated its fifth annual Children's Music Festival at the Landmark School in Manhattan. The interactive concert - called 'A Landmark Event...It's All Music!"- brought together students and families from New York City's five boroughs to showcase Midori & Friends' diverse music education goals and activities. The afternoon program opened with M&F students from P.S. 70 and P.S./I.S. 180 singing Seasons of Love from the musical Rent; Midori performed classical works by Kreisler and Wienawski with pianist Jiayi Shi; jazz clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera and pianist Alex Brown took to the stage with the Landmark School's Jazz Ensemble; and traditional Chinese music ensemble Melody of Dragon collaborated with students from Midori & Friends partner schools P.S. 130 and P.S. 42. Additional special guests included 9-year-old cellist Sujari Britt, experimental sound artist Bora Yoon and the energetic drumming group Nation Beat.



Midori with a young member of the audience


Sujari Britt with Paquito D坦ivera


Judi Linden (President), Midori, Jill Jaffe (Board Chair)

All photos: Gil Gilbert


 
 
MIDORI TO RECEIVE KENNEDY CENTER GOLD MEDAL IN THE ARTS

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced that violinist Midori is one of only four recipients of this year's Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts (KCICA) Gold Medal in the Arts. The awards are given to exceptional performers and arts leaders in the international community. Midori will accept her award at a special ceremony in Tokyo on Tuesday, 25 May 2010, along with fellow award recipients, architect Tadao Ando, Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura, and stage director Yukio Ninagawa. Winners of the prestigious Medal in past years have included Dame Judi Dench, Valery Gergiev, Mercedes Sosa, Trevor Nunn, and Lord Jacob Rothschild, among others.

The Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts was established in 2001 to promote international arts exchange and strengthen the Kennedy Center's international initiatives. Members of the KCICA will convene from 23-28 May for their annual Summit, taking place this year in Tokyo.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. is America's living memorial to President Kennedy and is the nation's cultural center, presenting more than 2,000 performances each year. Opened in 1971, the Center stages theater, dance, symphonic, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music. In addition to its wide-ranging performance schedule, the Center offers the largest arts education program in the world, with work reaching over 16 million people in more than 60 countries spanning six continents.



 
 
MIDORI TO GIVE MASTERCLASSES AT THE SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN MUSIC FESTIVAL IN AUGUST 2010

Midori will give masterclasses at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival from 2-10 August 2010. The compulsory piece for the masterclass is Mario Davidovsky's Duo Capriccioso.

The deadline for applications is May 15.

Applicants should submit a CD containing the following:
* Two contrasting movements from a Bach Sonata or Partita (a dance movement and its Double count as one movement) OR the Chaconne of Partita No. 2 OR three consecutive movements of Partita No.3;
* a virtuoso piece;
* a major movement from a standard concerto;
* a work of the applicant's choice.

Applicants aged 15 or under should submit:
* a Bach movement;
* a major movement from a standard concerto.

For details of where to post your application: click here



Photo: Reed Carlson


 
 
February 2010

Throw out the Atkins Diet - it's the "Midori Diet" that her peers should imitate.
(from the review by Jeff Dunn of Midori's New Music Recital in San Francisco that appeared in San Francisco Classical Voice http://www.sfcv.org)


Midori, good for you (Photocollage by Jeff Dunn)

Read the review: click here .



 
 
ORCHESTRA RESIDENCIES PROGRAM IN FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA

February 2010

Midori spent several days in mid-February in snowbound Fargo, North Dakota. She was not grounded there for reasons of bad weather; rather, she travelled to Fargo with her USC graduate student Moni Simeonov to immerse themselves in the community engagement activity that Midori calls "ORP" (Orchestra Residencies Program). To read more about the program and other communities where ORPs have taken place, click here

While in Fargo - more specifically the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area - Midori and Moni met with local mayors, Chamber of Commerce representatives, arts administrators, public school music students and faculty, making presentations ("The Role of the Arts in a Thriving Community," "On Being an Artist in Today's World") and, in some cases, performing for them as well.

Most of Midori and Moni's time was spent in violin masterclasses and chamber music coaching, in addition to rehearsals and concerts with the Fargo-Moorhead Area Youth Symphonies under conductors Brian Cole and Jane Capistran. Midori performed the Kreisler Praeludium and Allegro (arranged for string orchestra and violin) with the Junior Youth Symphony and the first movement of the Barber Violin Concerto with the High School Youth Symphony. In concerts over the weekend, Midori played the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra under its conductor Bernard Rubenstein.

A highlight of the residency was Super String Day on February 13 during which 700 Junior and Senior High School strings students converged on Moorhead Horizon Middle School for mini-workshops, presentations and demonstrations, followed by separate Middle and High School Orchestra rehearsals.

In between all these activities, there was a Pizza Party for Youth Orchestra members and a Valentine's Brunch with Board and staff members of both the Youth Symphonies and the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, as well as a series of press interviews and a pre-concert talk.

To read Midori's and Moni's blog entries about the Fargo-Moorhead Orchestra Residency Program, click here.

To read an article about the Fargo-Moorhead ORP that appeared in a local newspaper afterwards, click here .





Moni, Midori, FMSO Executive Director Linda Coates and FMSO Music Director Bernard Rubenstein

All photos: courtesy of FMSO


 
 
MIDORI AS MUSICAL AMBASSADOR

February 2010

Click here to read an interview with Midori that appeared in San Francisco Classical Voice on February 2, 2010. Written by Lisa Petrie, it is titled MIDORI AS MUSICAL AMBASSADOR.



 
 
DAY OF EXPLORATION AT THE SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC

January 2010

As part of her New Music Recitals 2010 program, Midori was at the heart of a Day of Exploration involving panel discussions, masterclasses and a lecture/demonstration at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on Sunday January 31. The Day of Exploration was co-sponsored by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco Performances.

Read about it in the San Francisco Chronicle article by Joshua Kosman entitled Midori makes a case for new music: click here


 
 
MUSIC AND COMMUNITY: A RESIDENCY IN NEW ORLEANS

January 2010

Modeled after her Orchestra Residencies Program, Midori's week in New Orleans involved rehearsals and performances with the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic, violin and chamber music masterclasses open to string students from various schools, and a visit with the Greater New Orleans Suzuki Forum. Because the project was initiated as as a means of reinvigorating the classical music landscape in post-hurricane New Orleans, Midori's action-packed days in the city known as the "Big Easy" included much more: she was briefed on the rebuilding efforts since Hurricane Katrina, including the Musicians' Village and the Global Green Project in the Lower 9th Ward; there were also planned tours of the Green Project and the Preservation Resource Center attended by students from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra.


 
 

To see "The Year in Pictures", click here



 
 
CAROLING IN LOS ANGELES

December 2009

Caroling Week is one of my cherished events of the year, when my students and I share ourselves and our music with the Los Angeles community through several institutions.

Walden House, a residence for men who have recently been released from jail, was one of the venues for Caroling 2009. We received a fantastically warm welcome although we were there on one of the coldest days of the year. We played in the courtyard between barrack-like buildings, in semi open air (no roof over our heads!).



Midori and Moni Simeonov


left to right: Moni Simeonov, Midori, Jason Issokson, Korbinian Altenberger, Stirling Trent, and Jiayi Shi. The boys were all in Midori's studio at USC last semester.


 
 
MIDORI AND THREE FELLOW MUSICIANS VISIT MONGOLIA WITH MUSIC SHARING'S INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM

December 2009

From December 18 to 28 2009, a string quartet consisting of Midori, violinist Sini Simonen, violist Jinsun Hong and cellist Peter Myers toured Mongolia with Music Sharing's fourth International Community Engagement Program (ICEP). The landscape was frozen but the musicians received warm welcomes everywhere they went. The artists took part in 13 'Visit Concerts' at orphanages, schools for children with disabilities and a hospital. They also gave concerts at the official residences of both the Japanese and the United States ambassadors in Ulaanbaatar and at the Music and Dance College of Mongolia.

The quartet members also visited the Mongolia State Philharmonic, which consists of two orchestras, one that performs on 'Western' instruments, the other on traditional Mongolian instruments that include the Morin Khuur (horse-head fiddle), shant (three-stringed, long-necked, strummed lute similar to the Japanese shamisen), yoochin (dulcimer-like), khuuchir (bowed spike-fiddle), yatga (plucked zither related to the Chinese guzheng), and bishhuur (pipe similar in sound to a clarinet)*. The ICEP Quartet enjoyed listening to their hosts performing on these instruments and on 'Western' instruments, and to a demonstration of throat (Overtone) singing and Long song (Urtyn duu), accompanied by the horse-head fiddle. They even tried out some of the traditional Mongolian instruments themselves before reverting to their own instruments for a performance of Borodin's String Quartet No. 2.

Midori gives a few impressions of Mongolia in her January 2010 Website Greeting (link) and two photos from the ICEP visit appear in The Year in Pictures 2009 (link). In due course, a full report on the Mongolia ICEP, complete with more photographs, will appear in the PROJECTS section.

*A description of the Mongolian traditional instruments can be found at http://www.face-music.ch/instrum/mongolia_instrum.html


 
 
MIDORI SELECTED FOR AMERICAN CLASSICAL MUSIC HALL OF FAME

October 2009

Midori has been selected for induction into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. The announcement was made by the organization's Board of Trustees. The other inductees for 2009 are conductor James Conlon, composer John Adams, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the League of American Orchestras.

The American Classical Music Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring and celebrating the many facets of American classical music. It seeks to recognize those who have made significant contributions to American classical music and, by doing so, aspires to sustain and build interest in American classical music.



 
 
A DEBUT FOR MIDORI

October 18 2009

Midori made her Shanghai debut on October 18th performing the violin concerto in D by Jean Sibelius with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra under conductor Zhang Guoyong.

To read her pre-concert interview with ShanghaiDaily.com, click here: http://www.shanghaidaily.com/



Midori with members of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
photo: Jiayi Shi


 
 
IF WE DON'T ACT NOW.....
MIDORI APPEARS IN PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE UNITED NATIONS 'SEAL THE DEAL' CAMPAIGN

September 19 2009

Midori is one of six personalities appearing in a United Nations public service announcement, launched September 18, in support of a comprehensive global climate agreement in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Midori, who was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2007, was filmed on an overpass with the Santa Monica freeway thundering behind her. She is the only musician of the six personalities. The others are Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, Conservationist Saba Douglas-Hamilton, Environmentalist Philippe Cousteau, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai and Actor Don Cheadle.

The PSA is being broadcast on television in the United States and appears on the UN's Seal The Deal' website. It urges all of us to sign the UN's Seal the Deal' petition.

Public Service Announcement: http://www.unep.org/sasakawa/ Seal the Deal' website: http://www.sealthedeal2009.org/


 
 
Midori's Week in Costa Rica and Introduction to SiNEM

June 2009

Watch the video!

In late June, Midori spent a week collaborating with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica (OSN), a residency project that included concerts and community engagement programs. During this time, Midori had the opportunity to learn about and witness the activities of SiNEM, Costa Rica's National System of Music Education (part of the Ministry of Culture and Youth), a nationwide initiative to improve the lot of the nation's young people through music education.

SiNEM was initiated three years ago by Costa Rica's Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning President Óscar Arias Sánchez, based on "El Sistema", the model famously developed by José Antonio Abreu in Venezuela, which has produced a generation of extraordinary musicians and myriad felicitous societal benefits for Venezuela as well. Maestro Abreu was a consultant in the development of Costa Rica's SiNEM. Midori had the opportunity to visit two successful SiNEM schools in Desamparados and Pavas, two towns with high crime and low income levels, located 30 minutes from San José.

After a briefing at the local United Nations office, Midori's residency in Costa Rica commenced with a joint press conference with the Minister of Culture & Youth, Dr. María Elena Carballo, and OSN Music Director Chosei Komatsu. Later, Midori met music-minded community leaders and OSN board members at dinners hosted to raise awareness of the importance of culture and the arts as integral parts of social issues and educational systems.

Amidst the various advocacy events, Midori rehearsed and performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the OSN and the first movement of the Mendelssohn concerto with a youth orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Costa Rica (OSJ). All concerts were conducted by Chosei Komatsu, a longtime friend of Midori, who extended the invitation for her to experience first-hand the recent musical advances in Costa Rica.

Without a doubt, the experience was a source of joy and inspiration to all who planned and participated in it, as it was especially to Midori. To learn more about SiNEM, visit http://www.mcjdcr.go.cr/sinem/ [Spanish only].

To read Midori's remarks at Costa Rica press conference: click here
For SiNEM's account of Midori's Visit to the Desamparados Music School :click here



Midori, Chosei Komatsu, students and guests at the Desamparado Sinem School


Students at Sinem Desamparados


Midori, director and students at the Pavas Sinem School

photos: courtesy of Costa Rica's Ministry of Culture and Youth


 
 
Watch Midori on CNN Talk Asia

Midori Goto- From prodigy to peace ambassador
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/11/03/ta.midori/index.html


 
 
Midori & Friends Recital Pays Tribute to a Longtime Friend

May 27, 2009

On May 27, P.S. 160 in Jamaica, Queens held its annual spring recital showcasing the students in the Midori & Friends instrument instruction programs. This year's event was dedicated to the memory of Ms. Rawn Harding, Midori's personal assistant for many years, who passed away in 2008.

It was during Rawn's first days working with Midori in the early 1990s that Midori & Friends connected with P.S. 160, a partnership that has blossomed ever since. Last summer, family, friends, and colleagues initiated a Midori & Friends scholarship fund in tribute to her life-long passion for the arts and music; their generous donations subsidized the violin program at P.S. 160 for the 2008/2009 school year.

P.S. 160's spring concert featured three violin groups drawn from grades 4 through 6, as well as the Junior Band and Advanced Band. An enthusiastic audience of parents, friends, and scholarship donors enjoyed the music of Shinichi Suzuki, Beethoven, J.S. Bach, arrangements by John O'Reilly & Mark Williams and a selection of folk songs from Jamaica, America, Mexico and France.

To read more about this special night and for a biography of Rawn Harding, please download the concert program PDF. click here

photo: Midori & Friends


photo: Midori & Friends


photo: Jennifer Flores

 
 
MIDORI PERFORMS AT KENNEDY CENTER GALA

May 3, 2009

Midori performed in the Spring Gala of the (Washington D.C.) Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Gala, A Celebration of Women in the Arts, featured an array of female artists who "have all shaped the collective landscape of culture and beyond." In addition to Midori, the evening included appearances and performances by Stockard Channing, Jenn Colella, Suzanne Farrell, Judith Jamison, Patti LaBelle, k.d. lang, Annie Leibovitz, Julia Murney, Veronika Part, Dianne Reeves, LeAnn Rimes, Chita Rivera, Linda Celeste Sims of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lily Tomlin, Vera Wang, and others, with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta.

Midori performed the final movement of the Violin Concerto by Johannes Brahms.

To see photos from the event: http://www.winnipegsun.com/entertainment/2009/



 
 
MUSIC SHARING SEEKS PARTICIPANTS FOR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM 2009: MONGOLIA

April 2009

MUSIC SHARING is looking for young musicians with a strong interest in community engagement activities to take part in its International Community Engagement Program (ICEP) in Mongolia in December 2009. Midori and the young musicians selected through audition will create ensembles to perform at schools, hospitals, and other institutions, including those in rural areas with limited access to live music. In early June 2010, participants will perform at several Concert-Conferences in Japan, where they will share their experiences in Mongolia with audiences.

≪ Mongolia ICEP Dates ≫
December 10, 2009 - December 30, 2009
Rehearsals in Tokyo, followed by visits to schools, hospitals and other institutions in Mongolia
June 2010 Concert-Conferences in Japan (schedule to be announced) Rehearsals in Tokyo, followed by visits to schools and other institutions in Japan, and Concert-Conferences to report on the Mongolia visit


Previous ICEP quartets visited Vietnam in 2006, Cambodia in 2007 and Indonesia in 2008. For more information about ICEP: http://www.musicsharing.jp/index_en.html

≪ Parts to be Auditioned ≫
Violin, Viola, Violoncello (one player each)


≪ Applicant Eligibility ≫
We invite applicants of every nationality, born between December 1, 1974 and December 1, 1988, with a strong interest in community engagement activities. Applicants are required to attend the entire schedule above and must be able to communicate in English.


≪ Applications ≫
The Application Form may be found on the online page below
http://www.musicsharing.jp/e_community09.html


≪ Deadline ≫
July 1, 2009 (JST)


≪ Send Application and Inquiries to ≫
NPO MUSIC SHARING
Kudan Ocean Bldg., 3F, 3-3-6, Nishikanda, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, 101-0065, Japan
Tel: +81-3-3261-1855 Fax: +81-3-3261-1856
E-mail: musicsharing@dolphin.ocn.ne.jp


Concert in Hanoi, Vietnam (ICEP 2006 Vietnam)


Concert at a primary school in Kompong Cham, Cambodia (ICEP 2007 Cambodia)


With students after the concert in Kompong Cham, Cambodia (ICEP 2007 Cambodia)

photo: T. Oda



Concert at a rehabilitation center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (ICEP 2008 Indonesia)
photo: K. Matsunoki

 
 
Watch Midori on the NHK World TV/jibtv Channel.


Midori will be interviewed on NHK World TV/jibtv (Japanese International Broadcast TV) on February 3 and 4 on the program "Japan in the First Person - My Life, My Nation". A series to be aired in the week beginning February 2, "Japan in the First Person - My Life, My Nation" will feature interviews with six internationally-known Japanese personalities. Midori's interview will be broadcast six times and will be accessible simultaneously on the internet.

NHK World TV/jibtv provides round-the-clock English-language TV programming aimed mainly at non-Japanese audiences to inform them about Japan and offers the benefit of a unique perspective on Asia generally. The programs are carried around the world by satellite and also via the internet.

Viewers with access to the NHK signal can watch the interview with Midori on their televisions. Others can find it on the internet at the same times. Although, for copyright reasons, the programs are not available in Japan, the viewing times are stated in Japanese standard time and audiences can therefore calculate the viewing times in their respective countries. Japanese standard time is GMT+9.

Midori's interview will be broadcast on:
February 3rd at 11:30 / 15:30 / 19:30 / 23:30
February 4th at 3:30 / 7:30

To check the details and to access NHK World TV/jibtv: http://www.jibtv.com/ (for jibtv starting from February 2nd) or for NHK World TV: http://www.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/.

2008: The Year in Pictures






photos by Julie Lemberger courtesy Midori & Friends


 
MIDORI & FRIENDS EVENTS


November 2008

On November 14, Midori and pianist Jiayi Shi performed for two special audiences under the auspices of Midori & Friends. In the morning, Midori and Jiayi performed two Adventure Concerts at P.S. 91 in Glendale, Queens. The presentation included music by Vivaldi, Schubert, Liszt and Enescu, as well as a lively discussion of relevant musical topics with the student audience and P.S. 91's enthusiastic principal, Mr. Kenneth Lombardi.

That same evening, Midori & Friends hosted an intimate musical soirée at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in Manhattan for the benefit of the organization's educational programs. During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed music played by Midori & Friends jazz alumnus, pianist Luis Fernandez. After a light dinner Midori and Jiayi Shi took the stage for the third time that day to perform works by J.S. Bach, Schumann, Glazunov and Schubert/Liszt.

Midori & Friends is in its 16th year of providing high-quality music education programs to children in New York City public schools. For more information, visit www.midoriandfriends.org.





   

 


MIDORI IS FORMALLY SWORN IN AS A UNITED NATIONS MESSENGER OF PEACE


September 2008


On 19 September, Midori was formally sworn in as a Messenger of Peace during observance of the International Day of Peace at United Nations Headquarters in New York City led by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Other activities of the International Day of Peace were a Peace Bell ceremony and a student conference involving 700 participants. The students discussed the theme of "Peace and Human Rights" with the participating Messengers of Peace who, in addition to Midori, included Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall and Elie Wiesel.

The United Nations describes its Messengers of Peace as "distinguished men and women of talent and passion who have expressed their desire to help focus attention on the noble aims of the United Nations Charter: a world without war, respect for human rights, international law and social and economic progress." There are nine Messengers of Peace -- the four mentioned above as well as Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, George Clooney, Yo-Yo Ma, Paulo Coelho and Daniel Barenboim.






     

 


Midori is on the cover of the August/September 2008 issue of STRINGS magazine. To read the article by James Reel, "A Force for Change,"


http://www.stringsmagazine.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=22846

(Access to this article requires a password: education)



Photos Courtesy United Nations Department of Public Information
     

 


MIDORI TOURS EUROPE WITH JONATHAN BISS AND JOHANNES MOSER


July - August 2008

On July 23rd, Midori embarks on a two-week tour of Europe with pianist Jonathan Biss and cellist Johannes Moser. The trio performs a program of works by Schumann, Kirchner and Beethoven in Germany (Schloss Elmau), England (London and Harrogate), Slovenia, Switzerland (Zurich), the Netherlands (Delft), Denmark (Copenhagen) and Spain (Palma de Mallorca and Menorca).

     

 

MIDORI PERFORMS ALL-CONTEMPORARY MUSIC PROGRAM IN EUROPE

May 2008

Midori and Charles Abramovic presented an all-contemporary recital program in Europe consisting of works by John Adams, Krzysztof Penderecki, Magnus Lindberg, Huw Watkins and James MacMillian. Among the cities in which they performed were Glasgow, London and Berlin.

To view the timeline, prepared by Sakura Tsai, to help listeners place the music in a historical perspective (link) Word file 60KB
     

 
 

MIDORI IS ARTIST IN RESIDENCE WITH THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

March-May 2008

Different aspects of Midori's work were profiled in London in the Spring of 2008 as she became the subject of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)'s 2007-2008 Artist Portrait.

In this capacity, she performed the Tchaikovsky and Britten violin concertos with the orchestra, conducted by Daniel Harding, and took part in several events with LSO Discovery, the Orchestra's education and community departments: she performed a Discovery Lunchtime Concert with Charles Abramovic as well as an all-contemporary program. Midori also collaborated with fellow artists in events that included a masterclass on works by Adams, MacMillan, Lindberg and Penderecki for young, aspiring violinists, gave a video conference streamed online so that web-based listeners could submit questions, and held a public rehearsal of Efflorescence, a new work created for her by Christian Mason.

To read more about Midori's LSO residency (http://lso.co.uk/midori)

 
       

 
 

LINCOLN CENTER PRESENTS MIDORI'S BACH-SCHNITTKE-TAKEMITSU PROJECT

February and May 2008

Midori's Bach, Schnittke Takemitsu Project, presented at New York's Lincoln Center, explored the distinctive musical voices of Alfred Schnittke and Toru Takemitsu in three programs that combined their works with more familiar repertoire. Joining Midori were pianist Marc-André Hamelin, cellist Johannes Moser, the Miró and Daedalus quartets, flutists Demarre McGill and Nadine Assin, harpist Nancy Allen and a chamber orchestra conducted by Michael Stern.

In the printed concert program, Midori wrote, "I have been intrigued by [the music of Takemitsu and Schnittke] since I was a teenager; initially, they were linked in my mind simply by their likeness in age and appearance. With further study, I discovered significant musical parallels existed between them as well, particularly in their associations with Bach's music. Schnittke and Takemitsu both regarded Bach with nearly worshipful reverence . [His] style and works deeply influenced each composer's musical identity in combination with their individual creativity. Ultimately, the connection was so clear to me that it became the inspiration for this project.

The first concert in the series consisted of Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Piano, Takemitsu's Piano Trio Between the Tides, Debussy's String Quartet Op. 10 and Takemitsu's Quartet A Way Alone. In a pre-concert talk, Midori spoke with Peter Grilli, Director of the Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University and Takemitsu's American representative. This program was repeated at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center the following day as part of its Japan! Culture + Hyperculture Festival.

The second concert preceded by a lecture from musicologist Laurel E. Fay, consisted of Bach's Trio Sonata BWV 1038, Schnittke's Violin Sonata No. 1 and Septet for Strings, Winds and Organ and Shostakovich's Piano Quintet.

The final concert featured Takemitsu's Toward the Sea II, scored for alto flute, harp and string orchestra, and Rain Coming, scored for chamber orchestra, Ravel's Introduction and Allegro, Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No. 1 and Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.

To read an article about the series by Dennis D. Rooney in Stagebill
(http://www.playbillarts.com/features/article/7550.html)

 
       

 
  Midori's new CD will be released in Japan

December 2007

Midori's new CD, in which she performs Bach's Sonata No. 2 in A minor BWV 1003 and the Sonata No. 1 by Bartok, will be released in Japan on December 19th and elsewhere in 2008.

To view a home video clip of Midori performing extracts from the Bach Sonata and discussing the music
http://www.gotomidori.com/japan/movie/midori05.html


 
       

 
  MIDORI'S ADVENTURE CONCERT KICKS OFF 15th SEASON OF MIDORI & FRIENDS

November 2007

Midori & Friends officially kicked-off its 15th Anniversary Season on November 8th with an Adventure Concert by Midori and pianist Tom Sauer at P.S. 72 in East Harlem. Midori and Tom played music by Bach, Beethoven, Dvořák, Chopin, Corigliano and Sarasate for an energetic audience of P.S. 72's fourth- and fifth-graders and their teachers. Friends and families of the students and Midori & Friends supporters were invited to attend this special concert which highlighted lessons and themes covered in the students' music classes.

P.S. 72 has been a partner school of Midori & Friends for five years and a participant in the Adventures in Making Music guitar program for three years. This season is the first for after-school clarinet and flute instrument instruction at the school. For more information about Midori & Friends programs, visit www.midoriandfriends.org.



photos: Julie Lemberger 2007
       

 
  MIDORI AND ROBERT McDONALD TO VISIT JAPAN WITH TWO PROGRAMS FOR A SPECIAL PROJECT AT HAMARIKYU ASAHI HALL

Midori and her long-time pianist partner Robert McDonald will give four concerts with two different programs at Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo in December 2007/January 2008. Midori also will be featured in two pre-concerts performing solo works by Bach.

Midori announced her latest project taking place in Japan. This time she collaborates with the well-known Japanese koto player Kazue Sawai and her group to create a special combination of concerts at Hamarikyu Asahi Hall. At no extra charge, ticket-holders can enjoy both pre-concerts and concerts of Japanese traditional music and Western classical music played alternately by Ms. Sawai's ensemble and by Midori and Bob McDonald.

The aim of this project is to erase the border between Japanese traditional music and Western classical music. Midori said, "Japanese traditional music and Western classical music are believed to be different genres of music; however, after they listen to both the pre-concert and concert, the audience will notice that there is no such border between them. I hope everyone who attends these concerts will not only feel great respect for the creativity of human beings in the past but will become aware of the power of human beings to create our future."

For details (in Japanese) click here


       

 
  Midori is Honored by the United Nations

Violinist Midori has been officially designated a Messenger of Peace by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The announcement of her appointment was timed to coincide with the annual International Day of Peace (21 September 2007). The Messengers of Peace is a program instituted by Kofi Annan, the previous Secretary-General of the United Nations, intended to promulgate the goals and ideals of the United Nations by partnering with prominent individuals who have an established and demonstrated commitment to those goals and ideals in their professional and private lives. Other new honorees are Princess Haya of Jordan, conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and writer Paulo Coelho.

A statement issued by the United Nations says, "When considering Midori for this designation, the Secretary-General said he was convinced that she would be a compassionate and creative Messenger of Peace given the tremendous contributions she has made through Midori & Friends and her other organizations. He commended her for inspiring young people through music, and for utilizing music education as a compelling way to build a sense of community. As a Messenger of Peace Midori will help to promote the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals and build upon her commitment to youth."

Midori said, "I am very pleased to have been invited by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to become a United Nations Messenger of Peace This is an opportunity to champion the United Nations' Millennium goals in a meaningful way. I look forward to being an advocate for the cause, working both through my own community engagement organizations and in collaboration with United Nations programs".


       

 
MIDORI FEATURED IN FIRST BOOK CAMPAIGN    
       
  Midori has participated in First Book's "What Book Got You Hooked?" campaign.

First Book, a non-profit organization in the United States, has as its mission to give children from low income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Founded in 1992, First Book works with existing literary programs to distribute new books to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

To date, First Book has provided more than 50 million new books to children in need in hundreds of communities throughout the United States. For Midori's participation in the "What Book Got You Hooked?" campaign, 500 books will be donated to First Book in her name.

To read Midori's "What Book Got You Hooked?" column and to find out more about First Book, click here
   
       

 
MIDORI TO GIVE VIOLIN AND CHAMBER MUSIC MASTERCLASSES AT THE 2007 SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN FESTIVAL

Midori will hold masterclasses in violin and chamber music at the Schleswig- Holstein Music Festival from August 1st to 8th 2007. Information, including application guidelines, may be found on the Festival's website, http://www.shmf.de/inhalt.asp?ID

With the application, Midori requests that students send a CD containing at least two different works of their choice. The deadline for applications is May 15, 2007.

Midori welcomes members of existing ensembles, as well as individual instrumentalists, to apply for the chamber music classes. The successful applicants, one violinist, two violists and two cellists, will join Midori in repertoire for string trio, quartet and sextet.

Additionally, four positions are available in the solo violin class and the repertoire is open. As well as repertoire of their choice, successful violin class participants will be required to prepare Witold Lutosławski's Partita for violin and piano.

Each violin student and each ensemble member will receive multiple, intensive coaching sessions leading to a concert on the evening of August 8th.

Masterclasses, held at the Musikhochschule Lübeck, have been part of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival program since 1987. Each summer about 400 students from all over the world apply to take part. The Musikhochschule, situated in the middle of the historic town of Lübeck, offers the participants excellent practice facilities surrounded by the beautiful ambience of the town.

The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival supplies the participants with board and lodging.

The masterclasses at the Musikhochschule Lübeck also offer visitors and observers the opportunity to gain an insight into the pedagogical process.

At the beginning of each masterclass season, detailed schedules are available from the masterclass office and concerts arising from the classes are performed at the Musikhochschule within the framework of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. The personal commitment of a number of individuals and institutions enables the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival to provide a limited number of scholarships for selected students.
 





       

 
       
  « N.B.»

Midori's Recitals in Winter Park, Florida on March 17th, and Gainesville, Florida on March 18th, were cancelled because of a snowstorm in the Northeastern U.S. that resulted in airport closures.

Please note that the Gainesville concert has been re-scheduled for April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Auditorium.
   
       

 
     
  MIDORI'S MUSIC SHARING PROGRAM GOES INTERNATIONAL

Midori's Music Sharing program, based in Japan, which brings traditional Japanese and Western classical music to children in schools, hospitals, and institutions, will expand its initiative by conducting its first International Engagement Program.

Between 19 and 31 December, Midori and three young musicians, a violinist, a violist and a cellist, will perform chamber music in schools, orphanages and conservatories in five cities in Vietnam, including schools for minority children from outlying mountainous tribes. The purpose of the International Engagement Program is to offer children, especially children in difficult circumstances, the opportunity to experience the beauty and joy of music and, equally, to offer young musicians the opportunity to widen their horizons and learn more about community engagement.

The participating young musicians, one each from Japan, Canada, and the U.K., were chosen by audition. They will perform a private concert for students at the Hanoi Conservatory of Music and another concert at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music, from which ticket sales revenues will go to the two orphanages to be visited later in the trip.

Midori and the three young members of her quartet will work with musicians from the conservatories in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to finalize the content of the school visit concerts. Once in the schools and orphanages, the musicians will perform in front of the children as well as talk to them and play with them. The children, for their part, will sing and dance for their musician guests.

Local coordination for the visit to Vietnam has been undertaken by the Vietnam Performing Arts Agency, part of the Ministry of Culture and Information. The ANA (All Nippon Airline) has sponsored the program by providing assistance with transportation costs and other support has come from the Embassy of Japan and the Consulate General of Japan in Vietnam.

The countries being considered for future International Engagement programs include Thailand, Myanmar (formerly Burma), East Timor and Cambodia.
 
2006: The Year in Pictures

Performances in North America -
January to May 2007
       
 
       
  MIDORI PREMIERES A NEW WORK BY EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA

Midori and Robert McDonald performed the world premiere of Lost Landscapes by the leading Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara in Munich's Herculesaal in November 2006. Commissioned by Midori, Lost Landscapes joined works by Bach, Beethoven, Debussy and Richard Strauss on Midori and McDonald's November recital program in four cities in Germany.

The reviewer in the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote, "Rautavaara loves variegation and mixtures from all eras and styles of music history. With the 'impact' of her airy but energetic body and her profound musicality, Midori commandingly unfolds this music, tender, elegiac and rich in embellishment. Especially successful were the meditative yarn spinning of Ascona and the darkness of the Vienna address, while New York was pictured as a busy perpetuum."

The American premiere of Lost Landscapes takes place on March 2, 2007 in Albany's Palace Theatre, on the first stop of Midori and Robert McDonald's March/April US recital tour, to include performances in New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Virginia and New York's Avery Fisher Hall.

Einojuhani Rautavaara on his composition Lost Landscapes:
The four landscapes were important surroundings for me when studying during my Wanderjahre. My two summers in the US, 1955 and 1956, were spent at the TANGLEWOOD Music Center, where my teachers were Roger Sessions and Aaron Copland. The following year I went to ASCONA, Switzerland to study with Wladimir Vogel, learning 12-tone technique. REINERGASSE 11 is the address of the very romantic, decayed baroque Palais Schönburg in Vienna. WEST 23rd STREET was my address in New York. All these 'landscapes' are full of memories and atmospheres, visual as well as auditory views that are musical life-themes for me. I was interested in developing these themes further when the deeply admired soloist Midori honored me by wanting to play a new work for violin and piano.

In the last piece the tempo is fast and Midori plays it so fast that I wouldn't have believed it possible. It is fantastic when the performer can do exactly what the composer had in mind.

Midori on Lost Landscapes:
Rautavaara's fondness for each of these places is evident in his music. Throughout, the sweetness of memory dominates the character in almost sepia-quality flashbacks. So many emotions, so many experiences, so many surprises, as well as challenges, are intertwined in a seamless flow of nostalgic memory. In the entire work, Rautavaara stays true to the concept that "all memories are tender in their remembrance."
   
       
 
       
  TALK, CHAMBER MUSIC, Q&A AND PIZZA

Midori was in Costa Mesa, California, to take part in the opening of the new Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. As part of the orchestra's educational commitment, she was invited to interact with the young members of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra and their families.

According to the PSYO Executive Director Steven Payne, the young members had had joint events with previous PSO guest artists but a couple of hours spent with Midori went way beyond what anyone else had ever done. All the PSYO
students and their parents were invited.

Midori, in her continuing effort to give her students positive and practical experiences, brought an undergraduate chamber group in her charge from USC. The evening began with her speaking about her various activities at USC, where she teaches violin and chamber music and runs the Midori Center for Community Engagement. Then she introduced three of her current chamber music students and proceeded to perform the first movement of Schubert's Death and the Maiden Quartet with them. After the performance, during a Question and Answer session, students asked Midori and her students questions on various topics. It was particularly interesting for the PSYO members, only a year, or a few years away from college themselves, to be able to ask the USC students what they were learning at college, what their priorities were and what steps they were taking toward their respective chosen professions.

Concluding the event was a pizza party, where Midori and her students mingled with the PSYO members and their parents.
 
Midori and her USC students (Pasha Tseitlin, violin; Whittney Thomas, viola, David Meyer, cello) perform the first movement of Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden' quartet



Midori with PSYO violinist Jamie Niu, a 9th grade high school student from
Orange County, California"
       
 
       
  MIDORI'S 2006-2007 SEASON - AN OVERVIEW

Midori's summer included performances in Japan, Australia and the U.S. Unusually, she decided to take a few weeks off from performing to concentrate on just enjoying herself and playing chamber music with colleagues at the Marlboro Music Festival. In between, with the help of friends, she also packed up her books and other personal belongings to be moved to her apartment in Los Angeles. After living in New York City for nearly a quarter of century, there was much to pack! With her brother beginning college in the autumn and Midori's own increased responsibilities at the University of Southern California, it was time to move her home base to the West Coast. A perfect project for the summer of 2006!

Of course, living in California pretty much requires having a car and Midori has been taking driving lessons, time permitting, over the past year. She says she is "quite comfortable behind the wheel and can easily keep a straight line driving on busy streets". She took a perfect driving practice opportunity at Marlboro between rehearsals, as kind fellow musicians gave her exposure to a variety of cars and real-life scenarios by 'creating' situations in a spacious parking lot around Marlboro College. She therefore felt completely ready for the Road Test scheduled for her last day in New York in mid-August. Leading up to the Big Day, she fine-tuned her skills in the van of a close friend, which had been specially serviced prior to The Test. Unfortunately, on the day of The Test, the car failed and The Test had to be cancelled. It was very anticlimactic, to say the least.

Back in California, without her license, she continues to take public transportation to USC from her apartment in Santa Monica. She is usually on the bus by a few minutes after 5:30 am and comfortably in her studio by 6:15. When in residence at USC, Midori spends most of her waking hours in her studio, where her violin and chamber music students can often be found seeking her guidance. Her studio is always filled with activity whether a lesson, a coaching session or students just 'hanging out.' No matter how pressed she may be for time, she is always the doting mother hen, staying on top of the needs of each and every student under her wings. When she is on tour, she thinks about her students and worries about them incessantly, although she also knows that they actually appreciate the 'down' time away from her.

The first thing Midori did on her return to LA was to prepare the syllabus for her chamber music students. For their parts, Midori's chamber music students are expected to do far more than practice their repertoire, as there is a substantial community engagement and career-training element to their coursework. Besides Midori and her students, her assistant, Jiayi Shi, has also kept very busy. Jiayi, a pianist in her own right, who helps Midori with administrative tasks - including the logistics of her move to California - is a rehearsal pianist for all Midori's concert repertoire and she accompanies Midori's students in their lessons, auditions and performances. As a result, Jiayi has a tremendous amount of music to learn to keep up with everybody.

As the concert season begins, Midori could also be found putting the finishing touches on the music notes for all the works on her recital programs. She uploads these onto her website so that audience members can have access to them before her concerts.

As for Midori's performances this season, she takes part in the inauguration of the new Renee and Henry Segerstrom Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California, performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra this September. As part of the Symphony's request for guest artist involvement in their educational work, Midori will perform with one of her USC chamber music groups for the Pacific Youth Symphony members and their families. Also in repertoire for the current season are the Bartok 2, Beethoven, Bruch, Brahms, Britten, and Barber concertos with orchestras across the US and Europe over the course of the season, including the San Francisco Symphony under Roberto Abbado and the Orchestra of St. Luke's with Donald Runnicles, and the John Adams Violin Concerto under the direction of the composer in London with the London Symphony Orchestra in February and with the Atlanta Symphony in March. Also in March, as guest artist at the annual conference of the American String Teachers' Association in Detroit, Midori plays the G Minor Bruch concerto.

She makes six recital tours, two in the U.S, two in Europe and one in Japan with Robert McDonald and a European tour with Charles Abramovic. Among the thirty-odd cities in which she appears are Philadelphia, Houston, Munich, Frankfurt, New York, Dublin, Ann Arbor, Dresden, Hamburg, Sapporo and Osaka. Her recital repertoire features works by Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, Richard Strauss, Hindemith, Schumann, Webern, Ravel, Enescu and Yun, as well as a major new work for violin and piano by the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, Lost Landscapes. Commissioned by Midori in 2004, Lost Landscapes receives its world premiere in Munich in November, and is included in numerous recital programs thereafter.

Throughout the season, Midori also continues her deep involvement in a variety of community- based initiatives that she has established to address the issue of access for music. In the United States, Midori founded Midori & Friends, the Orchestra Residencies Program, University Residencies Program and Partners in Performance. In Japan, she founded Music Sharing and has initiated projects under the title Total Experience. More about these projects can be found elsewhere on this website. During the 2006-2007 season, Midori performs in NYC public schools as part of Midori & Friends and gives Partners in Performance concerts in two small communities in Maryland and in Warm Springs, Virginia. She leads Orchestra Residencies in Montana and North Carolina. As part of Music Sharing, she leads a group of young instrumentalists on an International Community Engagement Program to special schools, hospitals and institutions in Vietnam in December.

The 2006-2007 season will be varied, as always, a full measure of performing, teaching, writing, and community outreach, and a combination thereof. Although flying has become somewhat more problematic in recent times, the positive aspect of all the traveling Midori does is that she is able to see and catch up with friends in many different cities and countries. This season, she will miss seeing her brother regularly but she hopes that the college experience will give him a new perspective on life, as it did for her over ten years ago!
   
       
 
       
  MUSIC SHARING 2006
June 2006

Midori's Music Sharing organization piloted a new Comprehensive Program at schools for the disabled that began in April 2006 with the start of the school year in Japan.

Through this new initiative, young and para-professional-level musicians give children with disability weekly lessons at their regular school on instruments of their choice. The instruments range from percussion (timpani and Marimba) and band instruments (saxophone, flute, clarinet, trumpet) to violin.

Music Sharing has successfully obtained instrument donations since the New Year through corporations and individuals. Some of the donated instruments have been adjusted to meet the special needs of the individual students.

This past June, as part of the Comprehensive Program, Midori and pianist Koji Oikawa, her long-time pianist partner for all her Music Sharing presentations, visited the children and their classmates in their schools. Midori commented, "Music Sharing aspires to bring opportunities for children to experience, experiment, and embrace music in various tangible ways. It is my dream, in the near future, to bring together all the children in this special program to create an orchestra as well as a band."

In addition to the school presentations and visits, Midori and Koji also continued their engagement with children at correctional schools and institutions. Through performances, teaching and collaborating with the children, Midori and Koji are grateful to be able to share their artistry and life stories in very spontaneous ways.
   
 
       
  INAUGURAL SEMINAR 'BRIDGING MUSIC AND YOUTH' AT USC'S MIDORI CENTER FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
June 2006


In late June 2006, twenty three participants from all corners of the United States, including California, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan and New York, as well as from other countries, took part in the first seminar offered by the newly-established Midori Center for Community Engagement at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. The seminar, titled Bridging Music and Youth focused on community engagement specifically relating to children.

Students, professional players, conductors. and administrators, the participants were eager to exchange ideas and several spoke passionately about community engagement. The three-day seminar was the first public presentation for the Center, which is led by co-directors Susan Helfter and Midori. Participants learned the fundamentals of community engagement presentation from Midori and Susan, as well as from Dean Rob Cutietta of USC-Thornton, Debbie Devine, Artistic Director of the 24th Street Theatre, and Paula Chan Bing, flutist/performer on Asian and Western instruments. Topics covered included presentation and vocal skills, content development, participatory musical activities, national standards, assessment, classroom management, and advocacy. The participants had hands-on learning experience of making presentations and giving critiques.

For more information on the Midori Center, see:
http://www.usc.edu/schools/music/about/signature/
outreach/midori_center/


An article about the Seminar by Midori will appear shortly in the Random Musings section of this website.
   
 
     
 


December 2005

                  

Midori spent a few mornings during the week of December 12th in public schools in New York City on behalf of Midori and Friends. With pianist Thomas Sauer, she performed works by Glazunov, Beethoven, Brahms and Bartok for students in the third to fifth grades (approximately ages 8-10) and talked with the children and their teachers about the music, the composers and the art of interpretation.

 

Before the concert


Adventure concert
 
     
 


November 2005

AN OVERVIEW OF MIDORI'S 2005-2006 SEASON

Midori's 2005-2006 season takes her to Asia, North and South America and Europe, filled with concerts and masterclasses, teaching, and working closely with several non-profit organizations that she has founded in the U.S. and in Japan.

Before the season began, Midori spent the summer of 2005 primarily in Asia and Europe, where she did a Music Sharing tour with Koji Oikawa involving 24 concerts in 13 cities, gave recitals in Hong Kong, Macao, and Singapore with pianist Peter Vinograde, and performed Total Experience recitals at Universities in Niigata and Atsugi. In Europe, she was a featured artist at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, where she performed Prokofiev's Concerto No. 1 with the Festival Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach in Lübeck, Flensburg and Kiel and led master classes in violin and chamber music at the Festival's base in Lübeck over a six-day period, culminating in public performances with the students. Recitals with Charles Abramovic followed in Germany, Croatia, and France, at the Salzburg Festival in Austria, and the Tuscan Sun Festival in Italy where Midori also performed the Beethoven Concerto with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under the baton of Antonio Pappano. Toward the end of July, Midori visited the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara at his home in Helsinki to discuss the work for violin and piano that he was in the process of writing for her. She left their meetings feeling both energized and inspired. The work has since been completed; Midori will give the world premiere during the 2006-2007 season.

Back in the U.S., Midori recorded the Bach Sonata in A for Sony/BMG in Worcester, Massachusetts before flying to Los Angeles to settle into her "cute" new apartment there and meet her new students at the University of Southern California (USC). On the first night in the apartment that she shares with a fellow faculty member at USC, Midori slept on a Japanese Futon-inspired bed that her mother had made for her at her request. Midori is determined to make the move herself, so every time she travels from New York to Los Angeles, she brings as much with her as she can carry and returns to New York virtually empty-handed. The apartment is conveniently located so Midori can commute to school on the bus, at least for the present time, although one of her goals for the next year is to get her driver's license. Her studio at USC has been partly refurbished for her use, although she is eager to retain some furniture and engravings that are rumored to have belonged to Gregor Piatigorsky, who taught in that very room in the 1960s and '70s.

In September, for the first time in ten years, Midori returned to Brazil. There she performed with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo in the wonderful Sala São Paulo, which used to be a train station, and with the Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre. With the former orchestra, she also gave an outdoor concert in Ibirapuera Park, playing Bruch's Concerto No. 1 for a large crowd, and televised nationally. While in Brazil, Midori met and fell in love with two sweet puppies, who returned her adoration. When their sister puppy was born, she was named Midori in her honor. Like the human Midori, the puppy Midori is also always on the go--refusing to sit still!

(Midori with Schubert and his sister Twiggy)

Anyone who has offered to help Midori carry her luggage in recent years knows that the book bag tossed casually over her shoulder is deceptively heavy, weighing easily ten pounds. This is because of a 1500+ page textbook she has been reading in connection with her Masters thesis, appropriately on the subject of Pain. If nothing else, the preparation of her thesis gave Midori first hand experience of back pain. Those who have experienced the weight of Midori's book bag will be pleased to know that the book on pain is no longer in it. In early September, Midori successfully defended her thesis at New York University's Gallatin School!

In September and October, Midori performed Prokofiev's Concerto No. 1 with the San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas, Philadelphia Orchestra/Christoph Eschenbach and New York Philharmonic/Marin Alsop. Midori also gave Partners in Performance (PiP) recitals with Charles Abramovic in Barron Wisconsin and Richland, Washington.

At this writing, Midori looks forward to many upcoming concerts and projects:

  • a U.S recital tour with Charles Abramovic in a program featuring works by Mozart, Schoenberg, Prokofiev and Beethoven. Prior to the Disney Hall recital, Midori will perform a short chamber music program with students from USC; 
  • two performances of Prokofiev's first concerto in Munich with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, followed by a seven-concert tour of Japan;
  • performances of the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis and with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester (Berlin)/Kent Nagano and of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Mark Wigglesworth and the National Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin;
  • a European recital tour in March with Charles Abramovic featuring works of Lindberg, Mozart, Grieg, Schoenberg and Beethoven;
  • an All-Contemporary Program recital tour in the U.S. in April with Robert McDonald with concerts in Buffalo and Stony Brook, N.Y., Middletown, Connecticut and Santa Cruz, California, at the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, Carnegie/Zankel Hall, New York and the Herbst Theater, San Francisco. The repertoire includes music by Judith Weir, Isang Yun, Alexander Goehr, György Kurtág and Witold Lutosławski. The San Francisco concert will be preceded by two days of special events. Midori is putting together an informative newsletter about contemporary music in general, and the works on her program in particular, which will appear on her website in the weeks leading up to the contemporary recitals. She is also finalizing the repertoire for her All-New-Music recital program for the 2006-2007 season;
  • a European tour in May with Robert McDonald with repertoire by Schubert, Prokofiev, Schoenberg and Beethoven, followed by a brief tour with the NDR/Alan Gilbert in which Midori performs the Stravinsky and Beethoven concertos;
  • With some European recital dates, there are also plans for a post-concert Bach performance
  • Orchestra Residency Programs in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Burlington, Vermont;
  • University Residency Programs in Northampton, Massachusetts and Madison, Wisconsin;
  • A continuation of her work with Midori and Friends in New York City;
  • A recording of Mozart sonatas with Christoph Eschenbach for Sony/BMG in May;
  • In most months, Midori spends several days each in Los Angeles and New York, teaching at the University of Southern California and with her students from the Manhattan School of Music. Working with students, and teaching generally (giving lessons, masterclasses and lectures) gives Midori great pleasure and satisfaction. By now all her students are getting used to early morning telephone calls from Midori telling them she has had a bad dream in which they play incorrectly because she has neglected to teach them something during their lesson. In keeping with the interdisciplinary approach that Midori favors, she is working closely with colleagues at USC in the creation of the Midori Center for Community Engagement at the Thornton School of Music at USC. The Center will serve as a resource center for all matters related to community and public engagement, and the seminar will help musicians learn the art of engaging with communities. This latter part is a component of Midori's chamber music syllabus.

Looking ahead to 2006-2007, Midori is already eager for the three weeks she will spend at the Marlboro Music Festival and to appearing with the Sydney, Perth and Melbourne (Australia) symphonies in July/August 2006.

Although Midori travels a great deal, she still considers New York City her "home," at least for the time being. This may change in the next year, when her brother, Ryu, leaves home to go to college and she will be more permanently based in LA. Midori has always kept a close eye on her brother, toward whom she feels great affection and somewhat protective. Ryu, who is scheduled to graduate from high school in May 2006, is applying to colleges this year. Ryu has become more of a companion to Midori in recent years; they enjoy going out to restaurants and attending concerts together, like the one by Dave Brubeck not long ago, which they both loved.

For Midori, "home" is not "home" without dogs. In the past year, she and her family have suffered the loss of both their beloved pooches, Franzie, the long-haired dachshund and Willa, the West Highland terrier. Both animals lived to good old ages but their deaths have left a big hole in the lives of the Goto family, as has the death of Birdie, their pet bird. Midori has been scouring websites and visiting animal shelters in New York City and nearby, looking for a new puppy, so far without success. Hopefully, the Goto apartment will soon again be filled with animal noises and smells. One thing is certain: the new Goto puppy will be a lucky dog, treated like royalty, fed good people-food and with lots of good music to listen to. (It will have to be a puppy because it will have to be bilingual, and it is easier to teach a puppy to understand two languages, than a mature dog.)

Wherever she is in the world in 2005-2006, Midori will be reading voraciously and is likely to have a knitting or crocheting project on the go as well.

 


Midori and Charles Abramovic rehearse in Dubrovnik

 


Midori with two friends from the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo holding Twiggy and Schubert

This puppy, named Midori, lives in São Paulo. One of her parents is Artistic Director of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo

     
 
     
  MIDORI TO APPEAR AT LINCOLN CENTER BARNES & NOBLE ON OCTOBER 13

Midori will appear at the Lincoln Center branch of Barnes & Noble in New York City (Broadway and 66th Street) on Thursday, 13 October, between 7 and 8 p.m. in conversation with the New York Philharmonic's Director of Education, Theodore Wiprud, on the subject of books that have been meaningful in her life.

While there's no telling how the conversation will flow, some of Midori's favorites books are Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose, Yu Hua's Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, Jung Chang's Wild Swans, Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, Peter C. Whybrow's A Mood Apart, Kay Redfield Jamison's Night Falls Fast, Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence, Ryszard Kapuscinski's Shadow of the Sun , Willa Cather's O Pioneers! and David K. Shipler's Broken Idols Solemn Dreams.

Midori performs Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic and Marin Alsop on October 14, 15, and 18.
   
       
 
       
 

August 2005

MIDORI BLOGS ARTSJOURNAL.COM

For two weeks in late June and early July, while Midori was performing and teaching in Asia. she took park in a blog conversation with ArtsJournal editor Douglas McLennan.

Titled Midori in Asia, the blog can be accessed at www.artsjournal.com/midori

   
       
 
       
  May 2005

MIDORI TO GIVE MASTERCLASSES IN LÜBECK

As part of her week-long residency at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival (SHMF) in July, Midori will give masterclasses in violin and chamber music between July 25th and 29th. Open to the public, the masterclasses will take place at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck.

Masterclasses have been an important part of the SHMF since 1987 and approximately 400 applications are received each year from all over the world from students wishing to take part. In addition to Midori's violin and chamber music classes this summer, the SHMF will also hold masterclasses in marimba, voice, double bass, piano, viola, voice, percussion, cello and vocal ensemble.

At the conclusion of each masterclass, there will be a public concert; Midori's students will perform on the evening of July 29th at the concert hall of the Musikhochschule Lübeck.

Further information for prospective applicants and for observers may be found at
http://www.shmf.de/index2.html

   
       
 
       
 

May 2005

COCKTAILS, MUSIC AND DINNER IN SUPPORT OF MIDORI & FRIENDS

Midori & Friends held its 2005 Gala on April 6th at New York's St. Regis Hotel.

There was much to celebrate. Following cocktails in the Library, the guests were ushered into the Versailles Room for a musicale. A performance of Wouldn't It Be Loverly by students from P.S. 180 in Harlem began the special concert in tribute to Kitty Carlisle Hart, the widow of Moss Hart, who was the director of the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady in 1956. Following the children's performance, Mrs. Hart was presented with the second Champion for Children Award.

Immediately afterwards, Midori and pianist Jiayi Shi performed Mozart's Sonata in A Major K305 and Szymanowski's Notturno e Tarantella. The musicale concluded with Canadian Brass playing selections works by Vivaldi, Fats Waller, and the Beatles.

The celebration continued with formal dinner on The Roof during which two other awards were presented: the Distinguished Leadership Award for Arts and Education to Midori & Friends Vice Chair, Bonnie Reiss and the Ambassadors Award, to Canadian Brass.

The Midori & Friends Gala had begun with music performed by students. The evening concluded with a jazz presentation by the Landmark and Coalition High School Jazz Ensemble, drawn from Landmark High School and the Coalition School for Social Change where Midori & Friends has overseen the jazz program for three years. The Ensemble excelled in works by Herbie Hancock, Pedro Flores and George Gershwin.

For more information on the work of Midori & Friends, visit www.midoriandfriends.org


Midori and Jiayi Shi performing in the Versailles Room
photo: Steven Ladner

 
Second Grade Vocal Students from P.S. 180 in Harlem
photo: Steven Ladner
 

The LC Jazz Ensemble performing in the Rooftop Dining Room
photo: Steven Ladner
 
       
 
       
  March 2005

JOHANN-A-THON TO RAISE FUNDS FOR CLASSICAL ACTION

Some of Midori's students at the Manhattan School of Music are involved in setting up a four-part, twelve-hour music event celebrating the life and music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The performers are students and faculty of the MSM.

Johann-a-thon 2005 will take place on Saturday April 2nd at St. James Chapel, Union Theological Seminary, in New York City.

Guest Artists include Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Dr. Walter Hilse, Midori, David Soyer, and Peter Vinograde.

Proceeds from Johann-a-thon 2005 will benefit Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS.

For programs, times, performers and ticket information, please go to www.Johann-a-thon.org

   
       
 
       
  March 2005

MIDORI GIVES PRE-CONCERT PERFORMANCES AT LOS ANGELES WALT DISNEY HALL

Midori performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in February. Before each of the four performances, she took part in a pre-concert event in which she performed Beethoven's "Archduke Trio" with pianist Karina Sabac and cellist Ruslan Biryukov. Karina and Ruslan are students at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, where Midori has held the Jascha Heifetz Chair since last September.

 
       
 
       
 

February 2005

A MONTH IN THE LIFE

Midori kept a diary for the month of December 2004 for Gramophone magazine. To read the full text, which appears on Gramophone's website, please click the following link:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/interviews_detail.asp?id=2282

   
       
 
       
 

December 2004

MIDORI PERFORMS FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN IN
NEW YORK CITY

Sandwiched between her Carnegie Hall recital and an extended tour of Asia, Midori spent a few days sharing her music with school children in New York City. Under the auspices of Midori & Friends, she and pianist Tom Sauer visited PS (Public School) 48 in Jamaica, PS 139Q in Rego Park, and PS 180M in Harlem..

Midori and Tom performed works by Copland, Beethoven, Kreisler and Mozart, among others. Paula Bing, Education Consultant for Midori & Friends, guided the children through the concert, with help from Midori and Tom. At P.S. 180, as a treat before Midori and Tom's presentation, the school's children's choir, inaugurated by Midori & Friends during the 2004-2005 school year, gave a mini-performance.

Midori and Tom will give more concerts for Midori & Friends in the spring; in the meantime, the children will be kept busy with other Midori & Friends programs, including non-classical presentations, which will continue through the winter months.

 
Public School 48
       
 
       
 

September 2004

MIDORI'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2004

Midori's autobiography "Einfach Midori" ("Simply Midori") was released by the German publisher Henschel Verlag on 30 September 2004. In a straightforward and critical way, Midori recalls 20 years of an impressive career which began in 1982 when, at the age of eleven, she gave her debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta.

"Einfach Midori" depicts her successes, large and small, obstacles and disappointments, both professional and personal, and her hopes and plans for the future.

The book has been published in German exclusively and may be ordered online through the publisher

http://www2.txt.de

or through Amazon.de

http://www.amazon.de

 
     
 
       
 

August 2004

MIDORI TO GIVE MASTER CLASS IN TOKYO DECEMBER 26, 2004

Midori will hold a master class in Tokyo in connection with her Contemporary Music Project, involving 12 concerts in Japan in December 2004 and January 2005.

Date: Sunday, 26 December 2004 (3 to 7 p.m.)
Place: Tokyo Opera City (Large Rehearsal Room)

Eligibility: Violin students at a para-professional level, aged 16-25, of any nationality are invited to apply between September 13 and November 12, 2004.

Requirements: There is a non-refundable application fee of 2000 Yen. Each applicant should submit details of his or her musical background and a recording (on CD, MD, or DAT) of the work chosen for the master class (from the list below), as well as two contrasting movements from a standard concerto/sonata.

Master Class Repertoire: The work to be performed at the master class must be chosen from among the following works that Midori and Robert McDonald will perform at their recitals in Obihiro, Mibu-cho, Osaka, Sapporo, Niigata and Tokyo:

Judith Weir: Music for 247 Strings (1981) (published by Novello)
Isang Yun: Violin Sonata No. 1
(1991) (published by Bote&Bock)
Alexander Goehr: Suite for Violin and Piano Op. 71
(2000) (published by Schott)
Gyorgy Kurtag: Tre Pezzi per violino e pianoforte, Op. 14e
(1996) (published by EMB)
Witold Lutoslawski: Partita
(1984) (published by Chester)

Additional Information: Applicants must purchase their own music, which is available through the internet via the publishers' websites or through YAMAHA Music Store in Ginza (Tel: +81 3-3572-3136) and must bring their own pianists to the master class. Applicants are responsible for their own traveling and accommodation expenses.

For further information, including details of the bank account into which Application Fees should be paid, contact:

OFFICE GOTO CO., LTD.
2-5-18-501, Kojimachi,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
102-0083 Japan
Tel: 03-3262-8582
Fax: 03-3262-8634
E-mail: wakako@sym-tokyo.com

   
     
 
       
 

August 2004

MIDORI AND ROBERT McDONALD TO TOUR JAPAN WITH ALL-CONTEMPORARY PROGRAM

In recent years, Midori and her long-time pianist partner, Robert McDonald, have included new and lesser-known works in their recital programs in order to broaden the horizons of audience members. Their repertoire for an extensive recital tour of Japan in December 2004/January 2005 underlines their commitment with a commissioned work and a program consisting entirely of music composed after 1981.

The commissioned work, by the American composer Michael Hersch, is the wreckage of flowers: Twenty-one pieces after poems and prose of Czeslaw Milosz. Following the world premiere in Lisbon on 21 November 2004, Midori and Robert McDonald perform the work in Madrid, London, Glasgow, Munich and New York City before bringing it to Japan, specifically to Obihiro, Osaka, Sapporo, Kita-Kyushu, Matsumoto, Niigata and Tokyo.

The all-contemporary program consists of Judith Weir's Music for 247 Strings, Isang Yun's Sonata No. 1, Alexander Goehr's Suite, Op. 70, Gyorgy Kurtag's Tre Pezzi and Witold Lutoslawski's Partita.

In connection with the all-contemporary program, Midori has prepared an educational Pre-Concert Event to be held at Tokyo Opera City on 26 December. This will be open at no charge to ticket holders to the concert on 12 January at Takemitsu Memorial Hall (also at Tokyo Opera City). The object of the December 26th Event is to invite participants to examine contemporary music from different perspectives, to enhance their listening enjoyment of Midori's Contemporary Music Concert and to promote contemporary music in general.

The day will be divided into four sessions: morning and afternoon lecture discussions, a master class (devoted to the works on Midori's Contemporary Music Concert) and a reception. The lecture discussions will feature guest speakers drawn from musicologists, composers and hosts of classical music programs, as well as Midori herself. Audience participation will be encouraged. At the end of the afternoon there will be a short performance by Midori and Robert McDonald.

Four pre-selected young musicians will be invited to take part in a public master class given by Midori. During the master class, an overhead projector will enable audience members to follow the scores. A question and answer session will follow the master class with long-distance questions, particularly via e-mail and telephone, will be welcomed.

Video footage, including interviews with contemporary composers, will be shown in the lobby area for a few weeks leading up to the concert, along with a display of photographs. These will also be shown at the Yamaha Music Store in Ginza and at other CD shops and music stores. A listening space (mobile library) will be set up to enable members of the public to listen to works by the composers represented in the concert in a comfortable setting. Scores will be available so interested audience members can examine them and/or follow them while listening to the recordings.

The Pre-Concert Event will be capped off with a reception open to everyone who attended the day's events.

   
       
 
       
 

June 2004

MIDORI AND PETER VINOGRADE IN BANGKOK

Midori and pianist Peter Vinograde were in Bangkok for three very busy days. On 29 June, over 500 music students from all over Thailand were invited to listen to their private recital at the Small Hall of the Thailand Cultural Center, which included works by Mozart, Ravel, Goehr, and Dvo・aacute;k. The duo concert was followed by Peter's mini-piano recital exclusively for piano students, with works by Bach and Beethoven. Later that day, both Peter and Midori gave masterclasses and private coaching to selected Thai instrumentalists.

On 30 June, Midori and Peter gave a charity concert at the Main Hall of the Thailand Cultural Center, which was attended by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra. The proceeds from the performance will benefit the Support Foundation of HM Queen Sirikit of Thailand and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation.

Midori and Peter wish to express special thanks to Toshiba Thailand and to the Bangkok Symphony Foundation for their wonderful support and hospitality.


Midori and the pianist Peter Vinograde, with Mrs. Wattanavrangkul of Thai Toshiba and Mrs. Tejapaibul of Bangkok Symphony

 
Midori with music students in Thailand
 

Midori giving masterclass in Bangkok
       
 
       
 

April 2004

Midori's recital with Robert McDonald in April 2004 at Dublin's National Concert Hall was broadcast Wednesday June 9th at 9 p.m.on RTE Lyric fm (96-99 fm), Ireland's Music and Arts Channel.

   
       
 
       
 

May 2004

Midori Is Named to Prestigious Post at USC's Thornton School of Music

Midori has joined the faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music as Jascha Heifetz Chair in Music. The Heifetz Chair was established in 1974 in honor of the great violinist and pedagogue Jascha Heifetz, who taught at USC from 1962 to 1982. Midori's appointment commences in the Fall of 2004.

Dr. Robert A. Cutietta, Dean of the Thornton School of Music, said "Midori is extraordinarily well-suited to her new role in USC's broad academic setting. She will be an excellent mentor for our students because she combines the highest level of artistry appropriate to a conservatory and the intellectual curiosity appropriate to a research university."

Midori will teach classes at the Thornton School, and will do private coaching in violin performance and chamber music. She will also act as mentor to music majors drawn not only from the ranks of classical musicians but from jazz studies majors as well, treating a whole range of topics relating to the realities of the life of a professional musician, a subject often untouched by conservatories and music schools.

Midori made the following comment on her new appointment: "I'm excited by the opportunity USC will provide to explore music instruction beyond the traditional paradigm of the one-to-one imparting of instrumental skills. Participating in the formation of integrated artists who are complete human beings is at the center of my concerns as an educator, as these issues were of vital importance to me as a student. I also greatly enjoy engaging students in a more holistic approach to music education, with all the collaboration and discipline that requires."

Midori adds her USC appointment to an active schedule of 90 concerts a year, a faculty position at the Manhattan School of Music, and her involvement in the many projects generated annually by her outreach organizations: Midori & Friends (U.S.), Music Sharing (Japan), Partners in Performance (U.S.), University Residencies Program (U.S.) and Orchestra Residencies Program (U.S.).

   
       
 
       
 

February 2004

MIDORI GIVES A MASTERCLASS AT BOWLING GREEN UNIVERSITY

Anabelle Tirado, Cheng Hu, Emily Coplin and Kathleen Jara, students at the College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green University in Ohio, took part in a masterclass with Midori and also attended Midori's recital at Kobacker Hall on February 13th.

 
Anabelle Tirado, Cheng Hu, Midori, Emily Coplin, Kathleen Jara
       
 
       
 

February 2004

MIDORI TO APPEAR ON WQED MARCH 31ST 2004

A brief profile of Midori and her San Francisco recital will be broadcast on Spark, a culture/news program, on the Bay Area's PBS TV station, KQED. The First broadcast is scheduled for Wednesday, March 31st at 7:30pm with a repeat on April 2nd at 11pm.

   
       
 
       
 

January 2004

MIDORI MEETS STUDENT ORCHESTRA MEMBERS

Midori made side trips in January 2004 to visit with young musicians -- in Dayton, Ohio and in Detroit, Michigan.

On 10 January, beating the extreme cold, members of the Dayton Philharmonic's
Junior String Orchestra gathered for their first rehearsal after a holiday hiatus, met with Midori during their rehearsal break. This young
orchestra is comprised of 53 students from grades 6 to 12, who rehearse every Saturday during the school year under the guidance of conductor Karen Young. The young performers listened intently as Midori spoke about her
career and responded enthusiastically with many questions.

On another cold day a week later, members of the Detroit Symphony Civic Sinfonia met with Midori after their rehearsal. This group, now happily situated in the new Max M. Fisher Music Center, is made up of young players from all over Michigan who have been selected through a rigorous audition to work with conductor Charles Burke. They also asked Midori a lot of questions and were eager to get a glimpse of the life of a professional performer.


Q&A with the Detroit Civic Sinfonia members

 


Lobby scene at the The Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio

 


Visiting the members of the Dayton Junior Philharmonic

       
 
     

 

 

MIDORI'S MENDELSSOHN/BRUCH CD WINS AWARD

Midori's recently released recording of the Mendelssohn and Bruch ViolinConcertos has received the Quarterly Prize of the German Record Critics (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik).

 
       
 
       
 

November 2003

LIFT OFF FOR PARTNERS IN PERFORMANCE

The inaugural concert for Partners in Performance (PiP) took place in Plymouth, New Hampshire on November 2. The concert, presented at Plymouth State University's Silver Hall by Friends of the Arts, the local community-based arts organization was enthusiastically received. The presenters made a special effort to reach out to members of the community by setting aside a number of low-priced tickets for students and social service agency clients. Midori and pianist Charles Abramovic performed a full recital program consisting of works of Paganini-Liszt, Brahms, Bach, and Saint-Sa・s, followed by an encore, "Le Printemps," by Milhaud. For more information on PiP, please contact Kelly Gehrs.

Click here to read Charles Danziger's guest column on the Plymouth, N.H. PiP concert.

 
Greeting well-wishers after the performance
       
 
       
 

October 2003

MIDORI LECTURES AT NY'S INTERNATIONAL HOUSE

On October 30th (2003), Midori gave a lecture for the Leadership in the Arts program at the International House in New York City. Donald L. Cuneo, the President of the International House, welcomed everyone and introduced I-House alumna Judy Woo. Judy made brief remarks about the Woman's International Leadership Program for which Midori had served as her mentor. In her lecture, Midori focused on the interdisciplinary approach and its influence on many of her projects including Total Experience and the University Residencies Program (URP). The evening concluded with a lively Q & A session.


I-House President Donald L. Cuneo with Judy Woo and Midori. On the artwork behind them is, written in Chinese, the motto of the I- House founder, John D. Rockefeller: "That Brotherhood May Prevail"

 
The lecture took place in the Home Room looking out to the Riverside Park and the Hudson River
       
 
       
 

October 2003

A MASTER CLASS IN TORONTO

On October 15, 2003, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music jointly presented a master class led by Midori.

Two young performers, Jennie Press and Amy Park, worked with Midori for almost two hours while the audience, comprised of parents, teachers, friends, and music lovers listened attentively.


Amy Park and Midori (photo: Cliff Spicer)

*the photographs are courtesy of The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Canada

 
Jennie Press and Midori (photo: Cliff Spicer) 
       
 
       
 

October 2003

ONE SEASON'S REPERTOIRE

Sometimes people ask Midori which works - and how many works - she has performed in a single season. For those who are interested, here is a list of the music Midori has performed during her 20th anniversary (2002-2003) season. The music is listed in three categories: works for violin and piano, chamber music and concertos.

In putting together recital programs, Midori tries to combine better-known and lesser-known pieces. It's more interesting for her and she hopes it's also something of an ear-opener for members of the audience.

Midori is constantly searching for new pieces that she can learn and then share with her audiences. The Amy Beach Romance is one of these. So are Lutoslawski's Subito, Schulhoff's Second Sonata and Szymanowski's Myths.

Violin and Piano:
Amy Beach: Romance
Beethoven: Sonata No. 1 in D Major, Op. 12 No. 1
Beethoven: Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47 (Kreutzer)
Beethoven: Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96
Brahms: Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op.100
Dvo・aacute;k: Sonatina in G Major, Op. 100
De Falla/Kochanski: Suite populaire espagnole
Grieg: Sonata No.3 in C minor, Op. 45
Janáček: Sonata (1914, Rev.1921)
Lutoslawski: Subito (1992)
Mendelssohn: Sonata in F Major (1838)
Mozart: Sonata in G Major, KV 301
Mozart: Sonata in E minor, KV304 (300c)
Mozart: Sonata in A Major, KV526
Mozart: Sonata in C Major KV296
Paganini: La Campanella
Ravel: Tzigane (1924)
Sarasate: Zapateado, Op. 23 No. 2
Schnittke: Sonata No.1 (1963)
Schulhoff: Sonata No. 2, SZ 76
Schumann: Sonata in A minor, Op.105
R. Strauss: Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 18
Szymanowski: Myths, Op. 30
Tchaikovsky: Waltz-Scherzo in C Major, Op.34
Webern: Four Pieces, Op. 7

Chamber Music:
Brahms: Sextet in B-flat, Op. 18
Dvo・aacute;k: Terzetto, Op. 74
Mozart: Duo for Violin and Viola in B-flat, K424

With Orchestra:
Barber: Concerto, Op. 14
Dvo・aacute;k:
Concerto in A minor, Op. 53
Elgar: Concerto in B minor, Op. 61
Mendelssohn: Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Mozart: Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K216
Saint-Saëns: Havanaise
Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
Sibelius: Concerto in D minor, Op. 47

   
       
 
       
 

September 2003

MIDORI KICKS OFF HER 2003-2004 SEASON WITH BRAHMS IN HONOLULU AND MILWAUKEE

Midori's 2003-2004 season began on the 5th and 7th of September when she performed the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Honolulu Symphony conducted by its Music Director Samuel Wong. She enjoyed beautiful views of the ocean from her hotel window but her time was mostly spent working - rehearsing with the orchestra, doing radio interviews and giving a pre-concert lecture. In the evenings there were the concerts, of course, after which the Hawaiian audiences greeted Midori warmly in the auditorium lobby.


Audience members greet Midori at Blaisdell Auditorium

The following week Midori was in Milwaukee as guest of the Milwaukee Symphony and its Music Director Andreas Delfs. She performed the Brahms Concerto in the opening concerts of the Symphony season, on the 12th, 13th and 14th of September. As in Honolulu, Midori took part in pre-concert discussions and post-concert receptions. She enjoys meeting audience members informally and, wherever possible, makes herself available after performances to speak with them individually.


"Overture Live" in Milwaukee

 
The ocean view in Waikiki
 

A visit to the Hawaii Public Radio for an interview

 

Pre-concert talk at Blaisdell Auditorium
 

Q & A with members of The Milwaukee Youth Symphony members
       
 
       
 

Fall 2003

ARTE TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY

A new documentary about Midori is scheduled for broadcast on the French/German ARTE channel on November 16, 2003. The director is Holger Preuße.

The German title is "..... und immer weiter - Die Geigerin Midori". The French title is "Midori - le violon céleste".

ARTE can also be received in Germany and France, as well as in Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Poland, Finland, Luxemburg, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Norway and Sweden.

 
A snapshot from the documentary
(ZDF/arte-Dokumentation)
       
 
       
 

August 2003

MIDORI'S NEW CD

On August 19th, Sony Classical released Midori's new Mendelssohn/Bruch concertos CD with the Berlin Philharmonic in the US. The recording was released in Japan in June.

 
       
 
       
 

July 2003

MIDORI RETURNS TO ASPEN

For the first time in over 10 years, Midori returned for a brief visit to Aspen Music School and Festival in July 2003. In addition to her performance of the Dvo・aacute;k Violin Concerto with the Chamber Symphony conducted by James Conlon, she worked with four violin students in a master class. Held on campus, the class attracted students, parents, and members of the general public who listened as the four young musicians discussed and tried different ideas with Midori.

The participating students were Christel Lee, Fabiola Kim, Anna Clearman, and Angel Valchinov.


Photo: Alex Irvin


Photo: Alex Irvin

 
Photo: Alex Irvin
       
 
       
 

June 2003

MUSIC SHARING ACTIVITIES IN JAPAN IN JUNE 2003

Midori spends early summer in Japan every year bringing live music to young people in schools, institutions, and hospitals. In 2003, she gave 17 Lecture Concerts with her pianist-partner, Koji Oikawa, and visited eight youth orchestras. During these visits, Koji and Midori shared their artistry and tales of their experiences, interspersed with stories about music and composers. Particularly during the Orchestra Visits program, there was much lively interaction and exchange of performances with the young people.

In addition to their concerts, Music Sharing, which has taken over from Midori Foundation Tokyo Office and been newly-organized to oversee Midori's outreach activities in Japan, presented several Lecture Concerts by traditional Japanese musicians. Japanese music is extremely diverse, with the two main traditions, Soukyoku and Gagaku as different as day and night.

The koto is the main instrument for Soukyoku. Much to the surprise of Midori, who is just starting to learn about traditional Japanese music herself (you can see Midori and Koji inspecting the wind instrument 'Sho' in the photo), the koto is a big-sounding plucked string instrument requiring much power to produce the sound. Unlike such Western instruments as the guitar and the harp, the koto can easily be heard without amplification. The koto group was led by Kazue Sawai, the grande dame of the koto and its culture.

Gagaku, the music of the Imperial Court, was led by Ko Ishikawa. He and two colleagues, playing wind instruments, made their presentations to the children wearing traditional attire. As they entered the gymnasia, which served as auditoria in each of the schools, they always brought a sense of calm and serenity. 'Sho,' which is one of the Gagaku instruments, is about 3000 years old and is one of the rare wind instruments that can produce double-notes.

For audiences in Tokyo and Osaka, there were also two special concerts that were open to the public. The program consisted of Western classical music and traditional Japanese music performed by Midori, Koji Oikawa, Kazue Sawai, Ko Ishikawa and all their colleagues. Special low priced tickets were available for children with the result that both concerts were filled with young people, either alone or with parents or friends. Before the performances - one at the Takemitsu Memorial Hall in Tokyo and the other at NHK Hall in Osaka - and during the intermission, audience members were encouraged to try out the traditional instruments. There were so many participants that the queue was very long.

Midori's personal account of her tour will appear in the coming months in 'Random Musings.'

 
Midori and Koji Oikawa
 

Lecture Concert of Soukyoku
 

Lecture concert of Gagaku
 

Midori and Koji inspect the wind instrument 'Sho'.
       
 
     
  June 2003

EARLY SUMMER JAPAN TOUR

Midori's 2003 summer schedule kicked off with a recital tour of Japan with pianist Peter Vinograde. Midori was particularly pleased to be performing some pieces for the first time in these concerts, namely the Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Janáček sonatas. Readers are invited to enjoy her program notes on the works in the Music Notes section. Peter Vinograde has contributed his own account of the tour. (click)

 
       
 
       
 

April 2003

AN ILLUSTRATED TALK

One morning during her April 2003 performance period in Chicago, Midori was asked to give a talk to some of the Chicago Symphony's donors. About 40 guests attended the event. A set of nine panels was specially prepared for the occasion containing archival photos and mementos from Midori's life and career.

 
       
 
       
 

SPRING 2003

REACHING OUT

I always enjoy the opportunity to meet and speak with students in the towns and cities where I perform. During the second half of my Spring (2003) US Recital Tour, a master class was arranged by one of the presenting organizations and a lecture followed by a question and answer session by another. At Columbus State University School of Music, I worked with four violin students - Laszlo Stan, Callie Knight, Barbara Careaga, and Solange Navarrete. And I was really pleased that at the University of Arkansas lecture/Q and A, there were students in the audience from several different departments.


Master Class at Columbus [Georgia] State University School of Music

 
Midori chats with a student at the University of Arkansas
       
 
       
 

April 2003

MIDORI & FRIENDS CELEBRATES ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A GALA

On April 29th friends and supporters gathered at the St. Regis "Roof" - the enclosed top floor of the St. Regis Hotel on Fifth Avenue in New York City - to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Midori & Friends. To learn more about Midori & Friends, which presents free educational programs by Midori, distinguished ensembles and teaching artists to underprivileged children in New York City public schools, click here.

The evening's host was Martin Bookspan, the longtime presenter of "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcasts, who provided the gracious segues between the different 'courses' making up the evening's program:

After an initial cocktail reception, Midori and pianist Peter Vinograde played a program of works by Massenet, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky.

One of the evening's highlights was the presentation of the Founder's Award to Mr. Norio Ohga, Chairman Emeritus of Sony Corporation, in recognition of his personal and professional support of Midori & Friends. Midori presented the award, which was accepted on Mr. Ohga's behalf by Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation of America and Vice Chairman of Sony Corporation. Sir Howard read a message from Mr. Ohga that said, "I believe that great music creates an invisible bridge between the heart of the performer and the listener. Midori is one of the few young violinists who can do this. Let's all support her in her efforts." Sir Howard himself stressed the importance of music education, commenting that, "In this time of dramatic budget cuts in our school system, we need organizations like Midori & Friends who help ensure that some of New York City's culturally disadvantaged schoolchildren have access to comprehensive music education programs. It's important that they appreciate and value the arts, and become active participants in the art as well."

Midori & Friends also took the opportunity of its 10th Anniversary Gala to pay special tribute to its Chairman Emeritus and founding board member, Peter D. Lederer. Alan Fischer, Board Vice Chair, expressed everyone's gratitude for Mr. Lederer's tireless dedication to the goals of the organization over the years.

The lights were then dimmed so the guests could watch a video by Gil Gilbert that captures the spirit of Midori & Friends programs through footage from classrooms, concerts, and interviews with students, teachers, and administrators.

Three woodwind students from PS 160, a partner school for eight years in Jamaica, Queens then made a surprise guest appearance, performing two jazz selections. The students, Dwayne, Temitayo, and Christian, all sixth graders, have been part of Midori & Friends's Adventures in Making Music program for three years; they also take instrument lessons through Juilliard's Music Advancement Program.

The evening concluded with an eloquent speech by the Chancellor of New York City's Department of Education, Joel Klein, about the importance of the arts and the vital role played by partnerships between the private and public sector. He urged everyone to consider ways in which he or she can each contribute to New York City's school system and to the arts.

 
 
 
 
       
     
 

April 2003

CHANGE OF PROGRAM FOR JUNE CONCERTS

The concerts in Elmau, Maulbronn and Detmold, Germany on June 8, 9 and 10 were intended to be chamber music programs in which Midori collaborated with violist Nobuko Imai, cellist Sadao Harada and pianist Robert McDonald. Unfortunately, Nobuko Imai has had to cancel for health reasons.

The three concerts have therefore been changed to recitals with Robert McDonald. The program will be:

Grieg:Sonata No.3
Schnittke:Sonata No.1
Brahms: Sonata No. 2 in A
Lutoslawski:Subito
Tchaikovsky:Waltz-Scherzo

We wish Ms. Imai a speedy recovery!

 
     
     
 

April 2003

MIDORI AND ROBERT MCDONALD APPEAR ON "SAINT PAUL SUNDAY"

Midori and Robert McDonald appeared on Minnesota Public Radio's popular program, Saint Paul Sunday on April 27th. The program is permanently available online. Please go to www.saintpaulsunday.org. Select "Program Catalogue".

To read about Saint Paul Sunday, please open http://sunday.mpr.org/about/index.html

 
       
 
       
 

March-April 2003

TENTH ANNIVERSARY SEASON FOR MIDORI & FRIENDS

Midori & Friends celebrated its tenth anniversary with several special activities in March and April 2003.

The week of March 10th, Midori and her pianist Tom Sauer performed for students at five public schools in New York City. A luncheon following one of the concerts was held to thank board members and supporters whose hard work and generosity has enabled Midori & Friends to develop programs with 17 partner schools this year. (If readers wonder why the accompanying photographs show the schools rather than the students, it is because showing the faces of the students is prevented by law in order to protect their privacy.)

On March 31st and April 3rd & 4th, in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Midori & Friends's Adventure Concert Series will present jazz cellist Akua Dixon and her swing quartet in concert at several of the schools.

Midori founded Midori & Friends ten years ago, when she was only 21 years old herself. Alarmed by the steady disappearance of music instruction from public school curricula, she made a personal commitment to do what she could to remedy the situation. Midori started modestly, volunteering her services to play concerts at local schools in underserved neighborhoods, but she persevered to build an organization that has brought a wide variety of music programs into the lives of over 100,000 children in New York City's public schools.

Midori & Friends has a 13-member board and a staff of four. Each year the organization engages "teaching artists" for long-term residencies of up to 28 weeks in partner schools, to realize the organization's mission, which is "inspiring children through music". Midori & Friends staff work closely with the administrators of each school to tailor programs to their individual needs. The organization provides general music studies, comprehensive instrument instruction, on-site multi-cultural performances and workshops free of charge to the children in its partner schools.

For more information about Midori & Friends, please go to its website
www.midoriandfriends.org

 
 
       
 
       
 

March 2003

MIDORI VISITS VIOLIN MAKING SCHOOL

When I was performing in Salt Lake City during the week of March 3rd (2003), I had a kind invitation from the Violin Making School of America to come for a tour.

There, I met about 30 people who were students, faculty, and staff. There is also the Bow-Making School of America as well as a dormitory for the students on site. It was absolutely fascinating to see the creation of a violin taking place: the instrument (or bow) simply starts out as a block of wood.

I intend to write in more detail about my experience there over the next couple of months (to appear in Random Musings), but I wanted to share a photo of my fascinating visit with the web readers!

Violin Making School of America: www.violinmakingschool.com

Bow Making School of America:
www.bowmakingschool.com

 


A violin-making student "planing" the wood board. It will eventually become the side wood of the instrument.

       
 
       
 

March 2003

MIDORI RECEIVES "AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE" ON MARCH 20TH

Governor George Pataki of New York State presented Midori with an "Award for Excellence" on March 20th on behalf of the State of New York Division for Women.

Midori was selected as one of the recipients of the Governor's Award, which is presented in honor of Women's History Month and its theme in 2003, Women Pioneering the Future.

The New York State Division of Women acts as an advocate for women's issues by ensuring that their interests are considered in the formulation of public policy. It also provides opportunities for women to increase their knowledge and independence through conferences and publications.

   
       
 
       
 

February 2003

MIDORI GIVES PHILADELPHIA MASTERCLASS

Midori does not like to waste time. She also loves to teach. When there are days between concerts and it is humanly possible to get home, she flies or takes the train to New York to squeeze in extra lessons with her Manhattan School of Music violin students.

In Philadelphia in late February (2003), Midori was the soloist in the Sibelius Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach on three consecutive evenings. (Read about her adventure getting to Philadelphia through a blizzard LINK) Although she did not manage to get back to New York in between concerts, she did the next best thing - she gave an open masterclass in the Kimmel Center's Innovation Studio for three local violin students.

Two of the students were pupils of Philadelphia Orchestra members and the third was a finalist in the Orchestra's Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition. The audience, made up largely of students and teachers from area music schools (including the Curtis Institute, Temple University and the Settlement Music School), Philadelphia Orchestra concertgoers and journalists, listened attentively as Anne Ku, Danbi Um and Alexandra Osborne tackled the first movements of Lalo's Symphonie espagnole, Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto and Bruch's First Concerto.

 
Alexandra Osborne and Midori

Anne Ku and Midori

Danbi Um and Midori
 
       
 
       
 

February 2003

MIDORI RECEIVES ELIZABETH CHAPIN AWARD FOR VOLUNTEERS IN THE ARTS

On February 10th 2003, Midori received the "Elizabeth Chapin Award for Volunteers in the Arts" from the Citizens Committee of New York. This award salutes the work of outstanding New Yorkers who have contributed enormously to the health of the City. Midori's award was in recognition of her work with Midori & Friends.

Other honorees this year at the New Yorker for New York Awards Dinner, held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, included Robert De Niro (New Yorker for New York Award), "Hank" Greenberg (Brooke Russell Astor Award for Philanthropy) and Arthur Ross (Marietta Tree Award for Public Service).
   
       
 
       
 

January 2003

MEMORIES OF A RECORDING

I was in Berlin in January 2003 to make a recording I never thought I'd make: the Mendelssohn E Minor Concerto. I hadn't played it for over 10 years before the current season. This very fact gave me a nice opportunity to feel as a novice in a work that is so standard, and that has been a source of great inspiration to me. The recording will shortly be sent to the factory for processing along with another live recording, made last June, of the Bruch G Minor Concerto. Both were recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Mariss Jansons. What was the difference between the Bruch recording and the Mendelssohn? The weather was atrociously hot in June for the Bruch and it was stingingly cold in January when we recorded the Mendelssohn. Here are a few photos taken during the January recording period:below and on the right.


Midori at playback session with producer Steve Epstein


Midori and the Sony Classical crew on stage at the Philharmonie in Berlin

 
Midori and the Sony Classical crew on stage at the Philharmonie in Berlin
       
 
       
 

2002

MIDORI ESTABLISHES
PARTNERS IN PERFORMANCE PROGRAM

On October 22nd 2001, Midori was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize, which came with a cash award of $50,000. She will devote these funds to a project that she calls Partners in Performance.

Each year Midori will donate her services to an institution or concert presenter in a U.S. community outside the major concert tour circuit. A key element of the program is the opportunity for the artists to engage with the audience after the performance, either in a question-and-answer period, an open interview or a reception. Proceeds from the concert will be used to fund projects, programs or equipment at the discretion of the Program grantee. Midori hopes to perform a number of Partners in Performance recitals every year and, ultimately, to extend the opportunity to other performing artist colleagues to participate in the program in order to benefit as many institutions as possible.

The objective for Partners in Performance is two-fold

   
         
 

To stimulate interest in chamber music in small communities outside the radius and without the financial resources of major urban centers with their established presenting organizations.

 
       
 
To support concert presenters in outlying, under-served U.S. communities, offering them affordable concerts by major artists as an impetus to strengthening local interest in the arts and raising funds for future classical music programming and special projects.  
       
  The ultimate goal is to keep classical music - and chamber music in particular - alive, accessible and vital in the heartland of America.