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.