Visionary artist, activist, and educator Midori explores and builds connections between music and the human experience, breaks with traditional boundaries, and brings together graceful precision and intimate expression, making her one of the outstanding violinists of our time.
In recognition of her work as an artist and humanitarian, she serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Bach: Sonata No. 1 for Solo Violin in G minor, BWV 1001
Montgomery: Rhapsody 1
Bach: Violin Partita No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002
Bach: Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006
Midori has performed with, among others, the London, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras; the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks; the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with such outstanding musicians 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, Donald Runnicles, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Omer Meir Wellber.
Midori’s latest recording with the Festival Strings Lucerne of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and two Romances was released in October 2020 by Warner Classics. Her diverse discography by Sony Classical, Ondine, and Onyx includes recordings of Bloch, Janáček, and Shostakovich and a Grammy Award-winning recording of Hindemith’s Violin Concerto with Christoph Eschenbach conducting the NDR Symphony Orchestra as well as Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin filmed at Köthen Castle, which was recorded also for DVD (Accentus).
As someone deeply committed to furthering humanitarian and educational goals, she has founded several non-profit organizations. Midori & Friends provides music programs for New York City youth and communities, and MUSIC SHARING, a Japan-based foundation, brings both western classical and Japanese music traditions into young lives in Japan and throughout Asia by presenting programs in schools, institutions, and hospitals. Throughout the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, she continued to create virtual programming for these organizations, which serve many different communities. She commissioned composer Derek Bermel to write a new piece, Spring Cadenzas, which was premiered (mostly virtually) by student orchestras in 2021 through Midori’s Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP) and will continue to be performed by ORP participants in future seasons; Midori also performed the piece this summer with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO. Through Partners in Performance (PiP), Midori co-presents chamber music concerts around the US, focusing on smaller communities that are outside the radius of major urban centers and have limited resources. During the pandemic, she recorded recitals that were shared with PiP audiences, and provided a series of live, virtual workshops to accompany the recorded performances.
During 2020 and 2021, she also continued to perform, when possible, and appeared in recital (virtually and/or in person) at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, at the 92nd Street Y, in a virtual concert also streamed by the Schubert Club and Lied Center for Performing Arts in Nebraska, and at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. She performed live with the Houston and Detroit Symphonies and in European engagements with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The OCM Symphony Orchestra in Spain, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra in Turkey and Orchestra del Teatro Massimo di Palermo in Italy.
Midori was born in Osaka in 1971 and 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 following career. Midori is the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and is a Distinguished Visiting Artist at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.
Midori plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù ‘ex-Huberman’. She uses four bows—two by Dominique Peccatte, one by François Peccatte, and one by Paul Siefried.