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

FROM MIDORI – APRIL 2020

Dear Friends,

In this time of great uncertainty and continuing unnerving news, I write to you from New York, where I have been sheltering-in-place for close to a month.

We are confronted daily by insurmountable news that assaults our psyches and corrodes our confidence in the world and in ourselves. Our thoughts go out to the medical personnel who, along with the heavily afflicted, are the warriors of this pandemic. We want them to know that we care and are concerned for their wellbeing, as we are about the many who have lost their jobs and their livelihoods. Our sympathy goes out to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives to this virus.

It is indeed a very strange feeling to be trapped and confronted by an invisible enemy. As I advocate good essential habits of Staying Put, Washing Hands Thoroughly, and Social Distancing, I also wonder how sane I can continue to be, my lifestyle having changed so drastically and so suddenly, without much time to prepare psychologically or physically.

Nevertheless, I keep on practicing and playing music at home. For one day, we will surely enter a period of recovery. And at that time — whether for a child, an elderly or a bereaved person, for someone feeling neglected, lonely or despondent – or for someone who has recovered from the virus — I want to be ready, when they are, to play for them music forged in the souls of fellow human beings, music that has survived the tests of past historical atrocities.

Midori

January 2019

Dear Friends,
2018 was a year marked by transition. My move back to the East Coast, and to join the faculty at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, took place in early summer and, after almost 15 years in California, it turned out to be much more impacting than I had expected. The weather takes quite a bit of adjusting to and living in the Center City District of Philadelphia without a car presents its challenges and requires a different energy from living in Los Angeles. I am still getting used to the new set up and new rhythm, but am none-the-less enjoying the process of getting to know a new city.
Throughout last year, I enjoyed returning to cities, venues, and orchestras I knew to work with long-time colleagues as well as new ones. After 35+ years of touring, I am now comfortable almost everywhere, making new discoveries as well as rekindling old memories and relationships. In 2018, I also performed in several countries for the first time:  Paraguay, Estonia, Ukraine, and Ecuador.
A particularly meaningful trip last year was my visit with my USC students during our spring break to Sri Lanka, where we engaged ourselves in learning, teaching, giving-to-community, and performing inside and outside Colombo. The trip was our second out-of-LA venture, following a visit to Ensenada, Mexico, and its environs in 2017.
In the New Year, I look forward to a new project with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in which we perform “almost” all French repertoire. New projects always bring surprises, and with these surprises, joy.
I wish you all a new year filled with musical inspiration.
Midori