A visionary artist, activist and educator, Midori explores and builds connections between music and the human experience and breaks with traditional boundaries, which makes her one of the most outstanding violinists of our time.
In concert around the world, she transfixes audiences, bringing together graceful precision and intimate expression. Midori has performed with, among others, the London, Chicago, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with such outstanding musicians as Claudio Abbado, Emanuel Ax, Leonard Bernstein, Jonathan Biss, Constantinos Carydis, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Yo-Yo Ma, Susanna Mälkki, Joana Mallwitz, Antonello Manacorda, Zubin Mehta, Donald Runnicles, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Omer Meir Wellber.
Her diverse discography on Sony Classical, Ondine and Onyx includes recordings of Bloch, Janáček and Shostakovich and a Grammy Award-winning disc of Hindemith’s Violin Concerto with Christoph Eschenbach conducting the NDR Symphony Orchestra as well as Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin filmed at Köthen Castle, which was recorded also for DVD (Accentus).
As someone deeply committed to furthering humanitarian and educational goals, she has founded several non-profit organizations. Midori & Friends provides music programs for New York City youth and communities; MUSIC SHARING, a Japan-based foundation, brings both Western classical and Japanese music traditions into young lives in Japan and throughout Asia by presenting programs in schools, institutions, and hospitals. She commissioned composer Derek Bermel to write a new piece, Spring Cadenzas, which was premiered (mostly virtually) by student orchestras in 2021 through Midori’s Orchestra Residencies Program and will continue to be performed by ORP participants in future seasons;
Through Partners in Performance, Midori co-presents chamber music concerts around the United States, focusing on smaller communities that are outside major urban centers and have limited resources. During the pandemic, she recorded recitals that were shared with PiP audiences, and provided a series of live, virtual workshops to accompany the recorded performances.
In recognition of her work as an artist and humanitarian, she serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. For her lifetime of contributions to American culture, Midori is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and was celebrated by Yo-Yo Ma, Bette Midler and John Lithgow, among others, during the May 2021 Honors ceremonies in Washington, D.C.
Born in Osaka in 1971, Midori began her violin studies with her mother, Setsu Goto, at an early age. In 1982, conductor Zubin Mehta invited the then 11-year-old Midori to perform with the New York Philharmonic in the orchestra’s annual New Year’s Eve concert, where the foundation was laid for her following career. Midori is the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and is a Distinguished Visiting Artist at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.
She plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù, ex-Huberman. She uses four bows, two by Dominique Peccatte, one by François Peccatte and one by Paul Siefried.