Midori appears on the cover of the October 2020 Strad magazine

Midori is featured on the cover of the October 2020 issue of the Strad magazine.

In the magazine’s lead article, she speaks with Toby Deller about her preparation for the premiere of a concerto written for her by the German composer Detlev Glanert titled An die unsterbliche Geliebte (To the Immortal Beloved), inspired by Beethoven’s famous 1812 love letter and intended as a commemoration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

Midori also discusses her early curiosity about new music, her recitals focusing on works by contemporary female composers, her own education and her approach to teaching.

She speaks about her new recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and the two Romances, which will be released in mid-October by Warner Classics.

In conclusion, Midori muses on the near future for artists and audiences and on the power of music to heal: “Music is something that can bring smiles back to people, it’s something that can help  people grieve, it’s something that can help people be consoled, or to dream.”

Midori’s recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Two Romances to be released on October 16th by Warner Classics

Midori performs these works with the Festival Strings Lucerne on a recording made in early March 2020, just prior to the global pandemic lockdown.

The recording sessions had originally been planned around a concert performance with the orchestra at the KKL, Lucerne’s Culture and Congress Centre, and subsequent concerts in the UK, Singapore, China and Korea, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation or postponement of the entire tour. The Swiss concert was cancelled at less than 48 hours’ notice as Midori and the orchestra were already in the midst of rehearsals.

Midori explains: As everyone’s health and safety were of paramount concern, we were naturally obliged to follow official guidance. Nonetheless, we were grateful to receive permission to move ahead with our recording. Just beyond, a new and dangerous world was lurking … In retrospect, the recording experience felt as if we were racing against the clock, to still be making live music, in direct company of each other, breathing in harmony.

Through all of that, Beethoven guided my colleagues and me, his work focusing and inspiring us, our concentrations heightened, enveloped together in our musical efforts … Beethoven has provided a fortunate focus for me in such fraught times. I am reminded that he was a man of strong beliefs and a morality to which he fully committed, as an activist who took firm stands on many major issues of his day. At the same time, he maintained the discipline that allowed him to create profoundly beautiful, often serene music despite his many personal disappointments and struggles.

Beethoven’s determination still provides a model for humankind, leading us to recognize the best in our world as we reach toward the many achievements of which we are all potentially capable. Finding my place, as a musician, interpreting several of Beethoven’s masterpieces, grounds and inspires me today, as we all face many challenges ahead.

 

Midori takes part in observance of United Nations International Peace Day

United Nations to Highlight Importance of Global Ceasefire, Dialogue during International Peace Day Observance

Hundreds of students from across the globe will come together on 17 September in a virtual event to mark the 2020 International Day of Peace.  The Day, commemorated annually on 21 September, was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 and is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace through observing 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire.

Organized under the theme “Shaping Peace Together”, activities this year will include the annual Peace Bell Ceremony and global student conference.  The student conference will include remarks by Messengers of Peace including Midori, Princess Haya, Paulo Coelho, Jane Goodall and Yo-Yo Ma.

Students will be invited to participate in a question-and-answer session with the Messengers of Peace before engaging in a dialogue about their visions for a peaceful world.  As the United Nations marks its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2020, this dialogue will be part of a global conversation on building the peaceful and prosperous future we want.

The event will link to a live feed of the Peace Bell Ceremony from the Peace Garden, which will begin at 11 a.m. EST

Secretary-General António Guterres and Volkan Bozkir (Turkey), President of the seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly, will ring the Peace Bell in the company of Ishikane Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, and Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications.

There will be performances by top hip hop artists from New York, New Orleans and Poland and by the United Nations Singers, comprising United Nations staff members and others. The event will conclude with remarks by the Secretary‑General to student participants.

The Peace Bell Ceremony and student observance will also be broadcast live via United Nations webcast.

Midori’s Orchestra Residencies Program offers online workshops to support students, parents and teachers during the 2020-2021 season

Midori’s Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP) is pleased to offer a selection of online workshops to support youth orchestras during the 2020-2021 season in an effort to help keep young musicians engaged, motivated and excited during these unusual times.

These ORP offerings are available on a first-come, first-served basis and range from a masterclass to workshops on how to practice, presentations for parents and teachers and opportunities to speak with local legislatures.

The workshop activities are being offered at no charge to youth orchestras in good standing with the League of American Orchestras.

Each workshop is approximately one hour in length.

Category A: For Students
*This program could be supplemented with a short performance by Midori

• Violin and/or Chamber Music Masterclass * external mic recommended
• For String Players: How to Maintain Your Instrument
• Workshop: How to Practice
• Oral Heritage: Who to Listen to and What to Listen for

Category B: For Parents and Teachers
*May only be selected in addition to a workshop from Category A

• How to Support and Encourage Your Child to Practice Well
• Encouraging Young People to Keep Music in their Lives / Life Beyond High School

Category C: Advocacy and Leadership: In Conversation with Community Leaders or Music Directors
*May only be selected in addition to a workshop from Category A

• Advocacy Through and For Music
• Leadership in the Community
• Healing through Music: Discussing Midori’s role as a UN Messenger of Peace

Category D: Request Your Own Workshop
State how your proposed additional activity would support your youth orchestra. Please feel free to include additional pages or documents, if necessary.

Please access the 2020-2021 Orchestra Residencies Program requirements and submission form at the Eligibility and Applications tab of the ORP website 

FROM MIDORI – JULY 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope the uncertain situation we are living under has not impacted us in only negative ways. While I find the current circumstances to be challenging, I am doing my best to protect myself and others, to be as productive as possible, and to participate consciously in my community.

Much of our attention is inevitably drawn to the repercussions of COVID; yet there are other events, both positive and negative, taking place in the world, including circumstances that cry out for our attention such as the long-term effects of global warming, for example, and the historical and more recent inequalities in communities that hinder progress and cast a shadow over our achievements.

In the last few months, my style of living, like that of so many others, has been forced to change drastically–or at least has been put on hold–which has given me many moments for reflection and re-evaluation. I have also had the time to tackle – and in some cases complete – projects that in my pre-pandemic life precluded my attention. I hope some of the fruits of this period will be ready to bloom once the pandemic, or the worst effects of the pandemic, are behind us.

Let us keep alive the determination to work towards our future. We must persevere to find meaning in the new norm and in the recent past. In the midst of all this, I am thankful for those who  give of themselves tirelessly to keep us safe, remind us that the time we have lost has been neither wasted nor unmeaningful, and appeal to us all to play our parts in shaping the world to come.

Midori

MIDORI REMEMBERS ISAAC STERN

As the music world celebrates the 100th anniversary of Isaac Stern’s birth, Midori, who was mentored as a young artist by the legendary violinist, joins the commemoration in words and in music.

Midori is featured in the July 2020 issue of The Strad magazine in which she says, among other things, “My students today will tell you how often I mention Mr. Stern, especially when we come to a certain passage that reminds me of something he taught me. I miss him   very much. Of course, I benefited directly from his interest in young musicians, but as I got older, I found out more about the things he was doing outside of playing and teaching.”

On NPR’s Weekend Edition, broadcast on July 19th,  Midori said of Stern, “He wasn’t somebody who was just playing the violin. He took interest in the world; he took interest in his community; he took interest in the younger generation. He was so committed to giving himself and becoming involved, taking action where he felt that it was necessary.” Listen to the entire segment

Live with Carnegie Hall: Isaac Stern Centenary on July 21st at 2 pm (Eastern Standard Time) is a live stream featuring Midori as well as Emmanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and David, Michael and Shira Stern. Watch it on Facebook or YouTube

The Tanglewood Music Festival holds a Virtual Gala in honor of Isaac Stern on Thursday July 23rd at 8 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) in which Midori takes part. Attendance is free but viewers must register to watch.

MIDORI AND MIGUEL HARTH-BEDOYA CHAT ONLINE ABOUT LIFE AND MUSIC

Midori joined conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya for an online Conversation on Life and Music as part of his Conducting Institute.
Seventy participants from the United States, Europe, South America and Asia took part and were able to ask questions after the initial conversation on wide-ranging subjects including Midori’s experience of working with the Maestro Leonard Bernstein, the importance of music, inspirations in everyday life, music advocacy, efficient practicing and her violin, bows and shoulder rest.

MIDORI POSTS PUBLIC SERVICE ANIMATIONS REGARDING COVID-19

Midori recently posted two PSAs related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

PSA 1: Practice Makes Perfect
PSA 2: From Home

You can find links here: https://www.facebook.com/GoToMidori/videos/1729312913878254/

MIDORI AND JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET COMMEMORATE BEETHOVEN’S 250TH BIRTHDAY YEAR WITH RECITALS IN THE U.S.

Following recitals in the US and Europe in 2019 with sonatas by Schumann, Fauré, Debussy and Enescu, Midori and pianist Yean-Yves Thibaudet continued their partnership in 2020 with all-Beethoven sonata programs across the United States in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
Their coast-to-coast tour culminated in California, where they performed the complete Beethoven violin sonatas cycle over three concerts at Costa Mesa’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Midori is featured on UN postcard promoting its Decade of Action initiative to deliver Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

As a United Nations Messenger of Peace since 2007, Midori has strongly supported the organization’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all UN Member States in 2015 as part of a 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals.
With just 10 years to go, an ambitious global effort is underway to deliver the 2030 promise by mobilizing more governments, civil society, businesses and calling on all people to make the Global Goals their own.
Midori appears on a newly-released postcard to promote the Decade of Action.