Midori and her Music Sharing-Projekt in Nepal (December 2016)
MUSIC SHARING, founded by UN Messenger of Peace, violinist Midori, travels to Nepal for six-city outreach tour. Midori will lead 20 performances in 11 days, visiting hospitals, United Nations facilities and schools on a cultural exchange mission.
Throughout the second half of December, the nonprofit organization MUSIC SHARING presents its International Community Engagement Program (ICEP) to bridge cultural divides and share the healing, enriching power of music in Nepal. From December 18-28, MUSIC SHARING’s touring string quartet of young musicians, selected through a rigorous audition process, performs and interacts with Nepalese residents, many of them children, during up to four engagements per day. The cultural exchange mission ventures to the country’s most underserved and difficult-to-reach areas, including Gorkha, the epicenter of the 2015 earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people and wounded 22,000, devastating the region.
The string quartet, with Midori, includes violinist Jeremías Sergiani-Velázquez (Argentina), violist Wenhong Luo (China), and cellist Michael Katz (Israel/Germany).
Musicians will travel by air, car, and foot to share goodwill and to promote peace through music across the country. In addition to Gorkha, their visit includes the capital, Kathmandu, as well as Pokhara, Bharatpur, Bhaktapur, and Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. Sites were selected to align with MUSIC SHARING’s mission to make classical music accessible to all young people and Midori’s role as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, an appointment also held by luminaries such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, primatologist Jane Goodall, and actors Michael Douglas and Leonardo DiCaprio.
MUSIC SHARING’s founder Midori believes in the transcendent power of music and leads her organization on the ground in Japan and destinations far afield, connecting with civilians and leaders to advance the arts as an impactful diplomatic tool and essential element of educational development and well-being for children. In Nepal, MUSIC SHARING is visiting four children’s hospitals, eight schools, four international aid organizations that care for marginalized children, two DanChurchAid Earthquake Project communities, and a United Nations Information Centre.
Midori and her team are chronicling their activities in Nepal on the MUSIC SHARING blog.
MUSIC SHARING began life as the Tokyo branch of Midori & Friends, founded by Midori in New York in 1992. In 2002, MUSIC SHARING was certified by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and recognized as an independent, non-profit organization in Japan and operates solely on the basis of charitable contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
The programs of MUSIC SHARING connect children and young people throughout Japan and neighboring Asian countries, for whom the arts are not readily accessible, with live music and performance opportunities. Through its work, MUSIC SHARING upholds the idea that experiencing music of the highest caliber firsthand provides an enhanced sense of aesthetics, culture, and awareness of one’s own creative powers.
Since its inception, MUSIC SHARING has expanded to offer programs including the Visiting Program (Visiting Concert, Orchestra Visit Program), Instrumental Instruction for the Disabled Program, and International Community Engagement Program, with Midori and other professional musicians as participating artists.
About MUSIC SHARING’s International Community Engagement Program
The International Community Engagement Program (ICEP) began in 2006 and offers children, especially those in difficult circumstances, the invaluable opportunity to experience live music. Each year, ICEP hosts programs in its home country, Japan, and selects a new developing country to be the location of its international outreach, encouraging cultural exchange while providing unique performance and training opportunities for its touring ensemble of young musicians.
The first ICEP was carried out in Vietnam in 2006. Midori leads a quartet of young musicians, selected through a competitive audition process, on visits to schools, hospitals and other institutions to share their love of music and foster cultural tolerance, understanding, friendship, and international collaboration. The MUSIC SHARING ICEP has been carried out in eight countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Laos, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
Organizational and financial support for the current Music sharing ICEP in Nepal and Japan comes in part from generous individual donors, as well as the following organizations and corporate sponsors—Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. Ltd., Fourdays Co. Ltd., JECF, Kao Corporation, Kikkoman, Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. Ltd., and Shogakukan.