University of Southern California
Musician (violinist); Educator
Humanities and Arts
Since her debut at the age of 11 with the New York Philharmonic 30 years ago, the violinist Midori has established a record of achievement which sets her apart as a master musician, an innovator, and a champion of the developmental potential of children. In 1992 she founded Midori & Friends, a non-profit organization in New York which brings music education programs to thousands of underserved children each year. Two other organizations, 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 extends beyond these organizations to her work with young violinists in master classes all over the world, and to her Orchestra Residencies Program in the U.S. Midori plays up to 100 concerts a year, dividing her time between recitals, chamber music and concerto performances worldwide. She has an extensive catalogue of recordings, and in recent years has devoted a great deal of energy and resources to commissioning and performing new music. In the 2012-2013 season - the 30th anniversary of her performing career - she will play the world premiere of a violin concerto by Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös, newly commissioned for her by the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the BBC Proms and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to being named Artist of the Year by the Japanese government (1988), Midori has won the Avery Fisher Prize (2001), the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis (2002), the Kennedy Center Gold Medal in the Arts (2010), the Mellon Mentoring Award (2012), and the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum, for her 20-year devotion to community engagement work worldwide (2012). In 2007 Midori was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2012 she was awarded an honorary doctorate in music (Mus.D). by Yale University.