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About this Artist

Midori is a visionary artist, activist, and educator who explores and builds connections between music and the human experience. In the four decades since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11, the “simply magical” (Houston Chronicle) violinist has performed with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and has collaborated with world-renowned musicians including Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma, and many others. Midori is the Artistic Director of Ravinia Steans Music Institute’s Piano & Strings program; summer 2024 marks her first year in that role.

Last season, Midori toured Europe and North America with Festival Strings Lucerne, performing Schumann’s Violin Concerto in D minor and Beethoven’s Romance No. 2. In the coming season, she premieres Spirituals—a new work written for her by Che Buford—on a recital program at the 92nd Street Y in New York, the Celebrity Series of Boston, San Francisco Performances, and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Other highlights of Midori’s 2024/25 season include a tour of Japan, playing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Vienna Philharmonic under Andris Nelsons; a tour to Spain with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Jonathan Nott, performing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto; appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Oklahoma City Philharmonic; and teaching engagements at the Aspen Music Festival and Oberlin Conservatory, in addition to Ravinia.

Deeply committed to furthering humanitarian and educational goals, Midori has founded several nonprofit organizations; the New York City-based Midori & Friends and Japan-based MUSIC SHARING have both been active for over three decades. For the Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP), which supports youth orchestras, Midori commissioned a new work from composer Derek Bermel that she performed virtually during the Covid lockdown, and ORP recently worked with the Afghan Youth Orchestra (in exile in Portugal). 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, and she was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2021.

Born in Osaka in 1971, Midori began 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.