ICEP Vietnam participants follow-up with concerts and visits in Japan

The ICEP participants who visited Vietnam in December 2018 came together again to share their music making, jointly and individually, in Japan in June 2019. This is the second part of the ICEP experience each year.
Midori, Tatjana Roos (violin), Charlotte Malin (viola) and Alan Toda-Ambaras (violoncello) visited schools, hospitals, welfare institutions, nursing homes and other institutions in Tokyo, Obama, Takamatsu, Tokoyama City and Wadayama. There they played sections from string quartets by Mozart, Puccini and Debussy and, individually, visited classrooms, hospital rooms and other spaces to communicate musically with young children and elderly people in various states of health and awareness.
They blogged about their experiences.
The quartet also gave public concerts in Osaka’s Phoenix Hall and Tokyo’s Oji Hall.
 

Masterclasses, workshops and performances in the summer of 2019

Midori takes part in several festivals and workshops in the summer of 2019:
She performs Dvořák’s Violin Concerto with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra under conductor Mei-Ann Chen at the Interlochen Center for the Arts (Michigan, USA) and the same concerto at the Domaine Forget International Festival in Québec (Canada) with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec under Yoav Talmi. She also gives master classes at the Domaine Forget Festival.
Midori gives master classes as well at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar (Germany), at Ravinia’s Summer Conservatory, the Ravinia Steans Music Institute (Illinois, USA) and at Krzyżowa Music, a vibrant five-year-old festival in Lower Silesia (Poland). In Weimar, in addition to individual and group lessons, the orchestra studio with the Jenaer Philharmonie and a participant concert at the end of the course, Midori and her students bring music to a hospice in the city.
At the Aspen Music Festival (Colorado, USA), she performs Schumann’s Violin Concerto with the Aspen Chamber Symphony under Erik Nielsen.

Midori to participate in the Starling-DeLay Symposium for Violin Studies at Juilliard

Midori will give a master class as part of the 10th biennial Starling-DeLay Symposium for Violin Studies, which takes place at Juilliard between May 28th and June 1st.
In addition to master classes, the symposium includes recitals, pedagogy sessions and opportunities for participants to observe and explore how to nurture and develop exceptional student artists.
The Starling-DeLay Symposium, hosted by Juilliard,  is dedicated to the art of violin teaching and performance. It is part of the Starling-DeLay Institute of Violin Studies, made possible by the support of the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation. The Symposium also continues the legacy of Dorothy DeLay, a member of the Juilliard violin faculty from 1948 until 2002, whose students included Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Shlomo Mintz, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Brian Lewis, who serves as the symposium’s artistic director.
Tickets to the master classes are $32 and are available by request only at [email protected]  

Midori and Jean-Yves Thibaudet team up for their first tour

thibaudet_mood_1   © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Midori and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet will tour in April for the first time with a recital program of sonatas by Schumann, Fauré, Debussy and Enescu.
The tour includes dates in  Scottsdale, Arizona, San Francisco and La Jolla, California, Chicago, Illinois and Princeton, New Jersey. The La Jolla concert will take place at the newly-opened Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.
 
 

Midori performs for Pope Francis and other world leaders in Rome and urges them to believe in the power of women and girls in remote rural communities

Performing for Pope etc 481a5313-8449-4fc5-9c08-124f3663922b     With Pope too IMG_2228    Photos  (c) IFAD
Midori performed the Preludio from Bach’s Partita No. 3  in E Major for solo violin at the Annual Meeting of IFAD, the United Nation’s International Fund for Agricultural Development, and made a speech in which she called on Pope Francis and other world leaders in attendance to believe in the transformative power of women and girls in underserved remote communities.
Recounting her recent visit to rural villages in Tuyen Quang province, Viet Nam (video and article), where an IFAD-supported project has been working to improve rural women’s access to training and finance, UN Messenger of Peace Midori said, “What I saw was the power of equality, responsibility, and hope. And the difference people can make when they feel in control.” Midori was in Viet Nam in December 2018 with her International Community Engagement Program.
Midori noted that by having access to rural finance, the women she met said they felt a strong sense of responsibility to participate in building local economies as well as to bring about positive changes in their communities.
In Tuyen Quang province, IFAD has supported women’s participation in farming groups and has increased their access to financial services, markets and private agribusiness investors. As a result, the number of rural households suffering from food shortages has been reduced by 25 per cent.
“By talking with the women, I learned that development isn’t just about financial gain; it’s about seeing a future. The women I met weren’t just thinking about today, they were using their money to educate their children and invest in tomorrow,” Midori told the audience.
“It is a very powerful way to address inequality. When I spoke to the girls in the villages, they told me their mothers and aunts were their inspiration; their role models,” she added.
IFAD development experts have found that when gender inequality is addressed and the underlying barriers for women and girls are removed, it is possible to unlock the potential for all people—men, women, boys, and girls—to be equally valued and to lead productive lives.
 

Midori travels through Vietnam in December 2018 with MUSIC SHARING’s International Community Engagement Program (ICEP)

Every year in the second half of December, ICEP brings Western classical music into regions in Asia with limited exposure to it. From December 18 to 27 2018, ICEP’s touring string quartet performs and interacts with Vietnamese residents in schools – including music schools – orphanages, hospitals and schools for people with special needs, such as patients with Hansen’s Disease. They will also visit the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in and around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. A visit by the touring musicians to Tuyên Quang Province is being coordinated by the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
MUSIC SHARING, founded by Midori in 1992, focuses on bringing live music to people living under special and marginalized circumstances such as those who have suffered as a result of natural disasters, medical conditions, geographical limitations, and economic hardship.
The string quartet touring with Midori this season consists of Tatjana Roos (violin), Charlotte Malin (viola) und Alan Toda-Ambaras (violoncello). The young musicians were selected through a rigorous audition process. They will also travel to Japan in June 2019 for follow-up concerts.
You can find more information on Music Sharing and ICEP here and about the Touring Party Personnel here.
Midori and her team are chronicling their activities in Vietnam on the Music Sharing Blog, which also includes entries from the last travels to India in 2017 and Nepal in 2016. On MUSIC SHARING’s YouTube channel you can also find videos of those last two ICEP tours.
For further information on Midori’s commitment as a UN Messenger of Peace, you can find:

  • a video of her visit to Mexico in October 2017, where she played music for the victims of the earthquake in Morelos in September 2017, advocated for the UN’s Sustainable Developmental Goals and gave a master class in Mexico City which she combined with a public interview,
  • and a short video statement of Midori for International Day of Peace 2016.

This year’s ICEP tour is, in part, organized in collaboration with IFAD, the office of the Honorary Consul of Vietnam in Aichi – in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of Vietnamese-Japanese Diplomatic Relations –, and the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation. In January 2019, IFAD published an article on Midori’s visit to Vietnam with the ICEP Quartet.
Special thanks go to the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). MUSIC SHARING values the IFAD’s commitment to invest in rural people, empowering them to increase their food security, to improve the nutrition of their families and to increase their incomes.
MUSIC SHARING is a non-political entity and operates solely on generous support provided by individuals, corporations, and foundations. For ICEP Vietnam, these include: Kikkoman Corporation, Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., Ltd., Kao Corporation, Saigon Tourist, Hermes Gift Ltd., The Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund.
 

Midori Joins the Violin Faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music

With the beginning of the fall semester in early September 2018, Midori joined the Violin Faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Announcing her appointment, Curtis President Roberto Diaz said, “A soloist renowned worldwide who pairs her international performing schedule with a commitment to community collaboration and outreach, she embodies the artist-citizen idea that we want to instill in our students. Curtis enjoys a long tradition of distinguished and active performers serving on the faculty and Midori’s work to bring music to underserved communities fits so well with our thriving community engagement program at Curtis. I’m sure that all our students – not just violinists – will have an opportunity to benefit from her presence here.”
During the 2017–18 academic year, Midori visited Curtis a number of times to give masterclasses, attend student-centered activities and work with students participating in the school’s community engagement programs and Artist-Citizen courses.
Midori previously spent 14 years on the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where she was a distinguished professor, a department chair for eight years and holder of the esteemed Jascha Heifetz Chair. She will continue her involvement at USC in a visiting artist role.

Midori performs Leonard Bernstein's 'Serenade after Plato's Symposium' in commemoration of the composer's centenary

photo: (c) Walter H. Scott
On August 25th 2018, Midori will perform a movement of Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium at the Bernstein Centenary Celebration at Tanglewood in Massachusetts, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Other performers will include Yo-Yo Ma, Audra McDonald, Thomas Hampson, Christoph Eschenbach and Michael Tilson Thomas. The Boston Symphony will be joined by members of the New York, Vienna and Israel philharmonics, the Pacific Music Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival.
This is no ordinary date. It will undoubtedly bring back memories – not only for Midori but for older members of the audience as well – of the occasion in July 1986 when her performance of this same work, under the baton of its composer, caused a sensation worldwide and took its place in classical music history. The New York Times summed it up the following morning with the front-page headline “Girl, 14, Conquers Tanglewood” (Note: Midori is referred to as Miss Dori):

“All had gone normally through the first four movements of Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade, assuming you count as ”normal” a technically near-perfect performance on a muggy night of a difficult piece played from memory (Mr. Bernstein, who was conducting, used a score) with winning artistic insight by a 14-year-old.

But then, in the heat of the long and complex fifth and final movement, Miss Dori broke her E string. She quickly turned to Malcolm Lowe, the concertmaster, who looked nonplussed but finally handed over his Stradivarius. There was a moment’s pause while Miss Dori fitted her chin rest onto the new violin. But then she proceeded absolutely unfazed.

Then it happened again – another snapped E string. By this time Mr. Lowe was playing the Guadagnini of the acting associate concertmaster, Max Hobart, and Mr. Hobart had retuned Miss Dori’s violin and was playing it, ”faking” his way around the missing E string.

Miss Dori took Mr. Hobart’s Guadagnini from Mr. Lowe, thinking at first it was her own violin, restrung. Realizing that it wasn’t, and unwilling once again to interrupt the music, she played on, perfectly. When there was a brief pause in her part, she snapped on her chin rest, and finished the piece on Mr. Hobart’s violin.

When it was over, audience, orchestra and conductor-composer joined in giving her a cheering, stomping, whistling ovation.”

This season, which marks what would have been Bernstein’s 100th birthday, orchestras around the world have invited Midori to perform his Serenade. So far, she has played it in Poland, Austria, Argentina, the United States (Florida), Germany, Korea and Hong Kong. In July, prior to the Tanglewood event, she performs the Serenade with the PMF (Pacific Music Festival) Orchestra in Japan and with the Aspen Festival Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.

Application deadline to join Midori for the 2018/2019 ICEP in Vietnam and Japan is July 2

Violinists, violists and cellists wishing to apply for Midori’s 2018/2019 International Community Engagement Program (ICEP) must complete and deliver their applications by 5 p.m. (Japan time) Monday July 2nd. Young musicians between the ages of 20 and 30 with a strong interest in community engagement are eligible to participate.The ICEP Quartet will bring music to schools, hospitals and institutions in Vietnam this coming December and will reunite for formal and educational performances in Japan in June 2019.
Information about the International Community Engagement Program
Application details 
The 2017/2018 ICEP is currently coming to an end in Japan. The participants have been blogging.
 

Midori visits refugee shelter in Berlin

In early May, when Midori was in Berlin to perform with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Constantinos Carydis, she and a violist and cellist from the orchestra visited a community shelter in Hanjerystrasse that houses refugee women and children from Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Eritrea and Ethiopia. The musicians performed works by Mozart and Bach for the residents and staff and were given a tour of the home during which they learned about its background and history.
Refugee Center Berlin 5 2018
 
photos © Nachbarschaftsheim Schöneberg e.V.