Midori is one of the most legendary violinists of this generation. In addition to performing at the highest levels internationally, she has also been recognised by the United Nations and the World Economic Forum for her exceptional commitment to education and community engagement throughout the USA, Europe, Asia and the developing world. More recently, Midori has been making a sustained commitment to the violin repertoire of the future, commissioning several new concerto and recital works.
In the last few seasons, Midori has added several new recordings to her extensive catalogue of discs – a recording of Bach’s complete Solo Sonatas and Partitas and a forthcoming release of the violin concerto DoReMi written for her by Peter Eötvös and recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. In 2014, a recording featuring Midori’s performance of Hindemith’s Violin Concerto with NDR Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium.
Midori is recognised as an extraordinary performer, a devoted and gifted educator and an innovative community engagement activist. In 1992 she founded Midori & Friends, a non-profit organisation in New York which brings music education programmes to underserved New York City schoolchildren in every borough each year. Two other organisations, Music Sharing, based in Japan, and Partners in Performance, based in the U.S., also bring music closer to the lives of people who may not otherwise have involvement with the arts. Her commitment to community collaboration and outreach is further realised in her Orchestra Residences Program. In 2007, she was named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Midori was born in Osaka, Japan in 1971 and began studying the violin with her mother, Setsu Goto, at an early age. Zubin Mehta first heard Midori play in 1982 and it was he who invited her to make her now legendary debut – at the age of 11 – at the New York Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s Eve concert, on which occasion she received a standing ovation and the impetus to begin a major career. Today Midori lives in Los Angeles, where, in addition to her many commitments, she continues her position as Distinguished Professor of Violin and Jascha Heifetz Chair at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.
Midori’s violin is the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù ‘ex-Huberman.’ She uses three bows – two by Dominique Peccatte, and one by Paul Siefried.
Philharmonique de Radio France / Eötvös
London Symphony / Sokhiev
Staatskapelle Dresden / Eschenbach
Mahler Chamber Orchestra / Gatti
New York Philharmonic / Gilbert
Chicago Symphony / Mälkki
Atlanta Symphony / Spano
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal / Conlon
Japan tour with Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Chailly
Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Van Zweden
US tour with the Bahia Youth Orchestra of Brazil
Grammy Award for Hindemith’s Violin Concerto with NDR Symphony/Eschenbach
APAP 2015 Award of merit for Achievement in Performing Arts
Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1
Bartok Violin Concerto No.2
Johannes Maria Staud Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II)
London Evening Standard
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.
...Stylish even in extreme passion – Midori and Charles Abramovic delight their audience at the Mozarteum ... Whether in Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel, Tchaikovsky or Rautavaara, Midori has a technical finesses and certainty of style that are unmatched...
...the kind of artist who charms her audience with her refined, fragile expertise; a graceful, beguiling tone..