Midori is a visionary artist, activist and educator who explores and builds connections between music and the human experience. In the four decades since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11, the “simply magical” (Houston Chronicle) violinist has performed with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and has collaborated with world-renowned musicians including Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma, and many others. Midori is the newly appointed Artistic Director of Ravinia Steans Music Institute’s Piano & Strings program, and oversees the program beginning in summer 2024.
Midori celebrated her 40th anniversary last season with Warner Classics’ release of the complete Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. She began the current season with a summer appearance at the Santander International Festival, followed by fall tours of Europe and North America with Festival Strings Lucerne performing Schumann’s Violin Concerto in D minor and Beethoven’s Romance No. 2, the latter of which she recorded with the Swiss chamber orchestra for an album of Beethoven released on Warner Classics in 2020. Other 2023-2024 season highlights include performing Bernstein’s Serenade with the National Repertory Orchestra under Michael Stern, WDR Symphony in Germany under Constantinos Carydis, and Sofia Philharmonic in Bulgaria. She plays Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A minor with the Iris Collective and Orchestra Lumos, also under Stern’s baton, and with the Prague Philharmonia under Eugene Tzigane; she also performs a recital at the Long Center in Austin, Texas. In 2024 she gives two performances of the 2019 Violin Concerto An die Unsterbliche Geliebte (“To the Immortal Beloved”), written for her by Detlev Glanert: in January with the NDR Radiophilharmonie under Andrew Manze, and in February with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, a co-commissioner of the work.
Deeply committed to furthering humanitarian and educational goals, Midori has founded several non-profit organizations; the New York City-based Midori & Friends and Japan-based MUSIC SHARING both celebrated 30th anniversaries in 2022-2023. For the Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP), which supports youth orchestras, Midori commissioned a new work from composer Derek Bermel to be performed virtually during the COVID lockdown, and ORP recently worked with the Afghan Youth Orchestra (in exile in Portugal). Midori’s Partners in Performance (PiP) helps to bring chamber music to smaller communities in the U.S. In recognition of her work as an artist and humanitarian, she serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, and was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2021.
Born in Osaka in 1971, she began her violin studies with her mother, Setsu Goto, at an early age. In 1982, conductor Zubin Mehta invited the then 11-year-old Midori to perform with the New York Philharmonic in the orchestra’s annual New Year’s Eve concert, where the foundation was laid for her subsequent career. Midori is the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Smith College, Yale University, Longy School of Music and Shenandoah University. She plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù ‘ex-Huberman’ and uses four bows – two by Dominique Peccatte, one by François Peccatte and one by Paul Siefried.
AT THE REQUEST OF THE ARTIST – PLEASE DO NOT ALTER THIS BIOGRAPHY
SEPTEMBER 2023 - PLEASE DESTROY ALL PREVIOUSLY DATED MATERIALS