The Japanese-American violinist Midori, who was born 1971 in Osaka Prefecture, features prominently as “artiste étoile” in LUCERNE FESTIVAL’s programming for summer 2014. She began her training at an early age: for her third birthday she was given a miniature violin and soon proved to be so gifted that at the age of six she performed one of Paganini’s Capriccios in public. In 1982 Midori began studies at the Juilliard School in New York with Dorothy DeLay; at the New Year’s Eve concert of the New York Philharmonic in that year Zubin Mehta introduced her as the surprise soloist, launching a meteoric career that has led her to perform with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors ever since. Along with the great violin concertos and sonatas of the repertoire, Midori is also committed to the music of our time. Such composers as Brett Dean, Peter Eötvös, Krzysztof Penderecki, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Rodion Shchedrin, and Johannes Maria Staud have written new works for her. Above all, through four foundations with which she is involved, Midori is dedicated to efforts in the social and educational realm. She plays for school children, in hospitals and nursing homes, and also for underprivileged groups who would otherwise never have had the opportunity to visit a concert hall. Midori is a professor at the University of Southern California and at Soai University in Osaka. The violinist has recorded her experiences and insights in the memoir Einfach Midori (“Simply Midori,” a German book that was updated in 2012). In recognition of her musical and social activities, Midori, who also earned her Master’s Degree in Psychology magna cum laude, has received such accolades as the Crystal Award of the World Economic Forum Davos in 2012. Midori plays the Guarnerius del Gesù “ex-Huberman” from 1734.

LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 4 December 1991 in Dvorák’s Violin Concerto with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam under Riccardo Chailly.

August 2014