Midori performs Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade with the WDR Sinfonieorchester under Constantinos Carydis

One work with which Midori has long been associated is Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s ‘Symposium’).

In 1986, at the age of 14, Midori performed the Serenade with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, the orchestra’s summer home, under the baton of the composer.

During the course of the performance, the E-string on her ¾-size violin snapped. The concertmaster handed Midori his full-size violin, which she played until a string on that broke as well. The associate concertmaster had passed his violin to the concertmaster, who then handed Midori that violin and she continued to play. She never missed a note. It was an astonishing feat of professionalism and display of calm in a fraught situation. The story hit the front page of The New York Times the following day with the headline “GIRL,14, CONQUERS TANGLEWOOD WITH THREE VIOLINS”.

Since then, Midori has played the Serenade numerous times. Most recently, in the Kölner Philharmonie, her performance with the WDR Sinfonieorchester under Constantinos Carydis was recorded and can be viewed here.


Midori tours in Europe and the United States with Festival Strings Lucerne

In October and November 2023, Midori performs with Festival String Lucerne under its leader Daniel Dodds in Italy and Switzerland before joining the ensemble for a tour of the United States taking them from New York to California.

In Cremona, they perform concertos by J.S. Bach and in Bologna, Rimini and Lucerne, the Violin Concerto by Robert Schumann and Antonín Dvořák’s Romance in F minor.

In the United States their repertoire includes Schumann’s Violin Concerto as well as the Romance in F Major Op 50 by Beethoven, which they recorded for Warner Classics along with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and the composer’s Romance in G Major Op 40, released in 2020.

To follow the tour, please go to Midori’s Concerts page.

Midori is featured guest on the Speaking Soundly podcast this week

The mission of the podcast Speaking Soundly is to offer a window into the soul of today’s premier professional performing artists, to show the process and personal journey of great artists seeking connection, beauty, and spirituality through music.

Speaking Soundly is hosted by Principal Trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra David Krauss.

Midori is this week’s guest on Speaking Soundly.
To listen to the podcast, click below, as appropriate.

Apple Podcasts: https://shorturl.at/cmoE7
Spotify: https://shorturl.at/kryCV

New Performance Series created to support Midori & Friends

Midori’s nonprofit organization Midori & Friends, dedicated to enriching the lives of children across NYC through high-quality music education programs, recently announced the launch of the Crescendo Circle.

This collective of arts supporters, united by the belief in the power of music to inspire and transform lives, welcomes patrons at various donation levels with donations granting access to a concert series featuring performances by Midori, Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman and Randall Goosby in the 2023-2024 season, among other benefits.

Click the link below to see the performance dates and membership options:


Midori endorses the UN’s “Act Now” initiative to encourage participation in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, 193 countries came together with the UN to agree on a shared plan of action to bring greater peace & prosperity to all people and our planet. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), world leaders set a deadline for implementing the SDGs by 2030.

This year -2023- marks the halfway point toward realizing the SDGs by 2030. Yet the SDGs are at grave risk. Climate disasters, gender disparity, economic downturn, and lingering effects of a global pandemic, for example, threaten our chance for a better world.

The good news? The SDGs are still our roadmap out of crisis. When these same leaders, and their successors, arrive at the SDG Summit, this September in New York City, we must remind them of their commitment. At the halfway point, it’s a moment we cannot afford to lose.

Midori has joined with a Circle of Supporters, including her fellow UN Messengers of Peace HRH Princess Haya, Daniel Barenboim, Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall, Yo-Yo Ma and Charlize Theron, to issue a rallying cry for our future and to galvanize their communities to take individual action on the SDGs, re-energize public debate, and impress on governments the urgency to Act Now.

“As a Messenger of Peace, Midori continues to inspire young people through music education to build a sense of community and help advance SDG 4 to provide quality education for all, driven by the vision that music can make the world a better place and improve the human experience.”

What are the SDGs?

Midori’s International Community Engagement Project (ICEP) celebrates its 30th Anniversary

CREDIT: Music Sharing

In June 2023, the ICEP Quartet, consisting of violinists Midori and Stephanie Zyzak, violist Erika Gray and cellist Sandra Lied Haga, visited 19 local and special needs schools and hospitals in the Japanese prefectures of Okinawa, Hyogo, Osaka, Wakayama, Nara, Tokyo and Miyagi.

Some of the school children sang for them, others were invited to participate in the music making by making specific sounds along with the music.

CREDIT: Tohoku Broadcasting Company

The ICEP Quartet visits were featured on Japan’s public broadcaster NHK , on the Tohoku broadcasting company and in newspapers including the Okinawa Times and the Sankei Shimbun.

CREDIT: Okinawa Times

Concluding their tour, the ICEP Quartet performed works by Haydn and Mendelssohn at Phoenix Hall in Osaka and Oji Hall in Tokyo.


Midori is named Artistic Director of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute Piano & String Program

Ravinia has announced the appointment of esteemed violinist Midori as the Artistic Director of Ravinia Steans Music Institute’s Piano & Strings program, effective this fall to begin overseeing the 2024 summer season. Midori will succeed the acclaimed violinist Miriam Fried, who has held that position since 1994, following the tenures of the late Robert Mann (1988) and Walter Levin (1989–93).

About the new appointment, Midori said, “I am very much looking forward to being involved in RSMI in this new capacity. Working with young musicians has been central to my career, and this program is one of the most important of its kind in the music field. It has been led for the last 30 years by Miriam Fried, and I am honored to inherit her remarkable legacy as I lead the program forward in the coming years.”

As the Piano & Strings Artistic Director, Midori will lead young professional violinists, violists, cellists, pianists, and members of pre-existing chamber groups through immersive and intensive rehearsals and coachings with a rotating roster of some of the world’s finest teaching artists, including herself. The Program for Piano & Strings concentrates on interpretation and small-group collaboration through the practice and performance of classical sonata and chamber repertoire. The 2024 program takes place June 23 through July 24.

Working in close partnership with the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, Midori will strive to find new ways of engaging and advancing young professional musicians who view their experience at Ravinia as a critical part of their professional music careers as performers, educators, and artistic leaders.

Commenting on the next chapter of the renowned Piano & Strings Program, RSMI Director Alejandra Valarino Boyer said, “Midori’s renowned artistry and commitment to music education make her an excellent choice to lead the Piano & Strings Program. Her experiences as a performer, educator, and arts advocate will build on the legacy established by Miriam Fried to guide and mentor the next wave of classical musicians. We’re honored to have her join the Ravinia and Steans Music Institute team.”

Midori’s appointment comes as Fried prepares to welcome the 2023 cohort of Piano & Strings Program fellows for their June 19 – July 22 residency, Fried’s 30th and final season as director of the program. During her tenure, Fried trained numerous program alumni who have gone on to distinguished, often award-winning, careers and credit the Steans Music Institute and Fried as integral parts of their training and success.

“I would like to add my warmest welcome to Midori. In addition to her artistry, wisdom, and integrity, she brings her unending passion for music and the education of young people. The Steans Institute will be in wonderful hands,” Fried said.

Find out more about the Ravinia Steans Music Institute’s Program for Piano and Strings

Apply to join Midori for the International Community Engagement Program in Laos and Japan

Midori’s International Community Engagement Program (ICEP) is recruiting musicians for 2023 (Laos) and 2024 (Japan)

If you are a violinist, violist or cellist between the ages of 20 and 29 with a strong interest in community engagement activities, you may wish to apply to join Midori for the December 2023 ICEP in Laos and June 2024 follow-up in Japan.

One instrumentalist on each instrument will be selected through a competitive auditioning process to form a quartet with Midori that will offer presentations and performances at schools, orphanages, hospitals and various other facilities for youth and for the aged.

Since 2006, Midori has led ICEPs in Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Laos, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, India, and Vietnam

For more information about the International Community Engagement Program

For Application details  The deadline for applications is May 31, 2023.


Afghan National Institute of Music students and students of the Conservatory Calouste Gulbenkian take part in Midori’s International Orchestra Residencies Program

Midori’s latest International Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP) took place in Braga, Portugal in collaboration with the Conservatory Calouste Gulbenkian in late February and early March 2023.

Since 2022, the Conservatory has provided a home for the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), whose students and faculty were evacuated after the Taliban assumed power in 2021.  The Taliban forbade non-religious music making in the country, took over the ANIM school and destroyed the music students’ instruments.

On March 5th, following two intense weeks of working with Midori, students from both the Conservatory and the Afghan Youth Orchestra took part in a concert.

The moving documentary “Symphony of Courage” tells the story of ANIM and of how its students and faculty were able to evacuate the country to continue their music education and to perform their music in an open society.

Read the UN Information Centre article UN Messenger of Peace: Midori’s artistic residency in Portugal with Afghan students and watch the interview with Midori about this project.

Read a feature article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Leading Violinist Midori works with Young Musicians from Afghanistan (in German).


30th Anniversary Gala for Midori & Friends

On February 15th, Midori & Friends held a Gala celebrating three decades of providing tuition-free music education programs in New York City.

Midori & Friends is the first non-profit organization that Midori founded. She was just 21 years old.

Over the ensuing years, Midori & Friends has provided high-quality sequential music education in over 80 New York City schools and organizations to 300,000 students from Pre-Kindergarten to age 12 who had little or no previous access to the arts.

Read about Midori & Friends

Watch a video about Midori & Friends that was screened at the Gala