Midori is a visionary artist, activist and educator who explores the connection between music and the human experience. She breaks traditional boundaries, making her one of the preeminent violinists of our time.
As one of the leading concert violinists, Midori delights audiences with a combination of graceful precision and intimate expressiveness. She has performed with the London, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Vienna Philharmonic and Festival Strings Lucerne, among others. She has collaborated with outstanding musicians such as Claudio Abbado, Emanuel Ax, Leonard Bernstein, Jonathan Biss, Constantinos Carydis, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Yo Yo Ma, Susanna Mälkki, Joana Mallwitz, Antonello Manacorda, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Tarmo Peltokoski, Donald Runnicles, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Omer Meir Wellber. In addition, Midori has been named the Artistic Director of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute’s Piano & Strings Program and will lead the program beginning in the summer of 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 and a Beethoven Trio concert tour on three continents. She began the current season with a summer appearance at the Santander International Festival, followed by a fall tour of Italy, Switzerland and North America with the Festival Strings Lucerne, performing Schumann’s Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s Romance No. 2 (on Warner Classics with the Beethoven Violin Concerto). In 2024 she gives two performances of the Violin Concerto An die Unsterbliche Geliebte (“To the Immortal Beloved”): in January with the NDR Radiophilharmonie, and in February with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, a co-commissioner of the work. Other highlights of the season include concerts with the KBS Symphony in Seoul, with Solistes Européens Luxembourg at the Luxembourg Philharmonic, and a short tour of Germany with the Prague Philharmonic. Guest appearances will continue to take her to Amsterdam, Antwerp, South America and Riga, among other places.
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. Midori also recently worked with the Afghan Youth Orchestra and the Afghan Women’s Orchestra Zohra, who have been evacuated since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 2021 and have found shelter in Portugal. Midori spent two weeks teaching students at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Braga. 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 since 2007, 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.
Not to be altered or shortened without permission of PR² classic.