MUSIC MONDAY: When a Prodigy Grows Up

Violinist Midori Goto debuted as an 11 year-old, having been selected by conductor Zubin Mehta to perform with the New York Philharmonic in 1982. She gained further legendary status three years later when she played through two instances of violin strings breaking during a Tanglewood concert with Leonard Bernstein conducting. The New York Times reported Midori “astounding the audience and the Boston Symphony itself with her aplomb in a situation that might have daunted the canniest veteran.”

Since being hailed as a musical prodigy, Midori has successfully performed internationally in concerts and classical recordings for decades. But while still having an active concert schedule and producing records, Midori also developed other projects where she shared her musical gifts in philanthropic ways.

Her non-profit “Midori & Friends” has provided thousands of underprivileged New York children the opportunity to learn music and expand their education. With “Partners in Performance,” she  presents chamber music to small communities outside of major urban areas to expand interest in classical music. With “Orchestra Residencies Program,” she actively supports youth orchestras with masterclasses and performance workshops.

Midori also completed a Master’s degree in Psychology from NYU, received an honorary doctorate from Yale, and was appointed by the United Nations as a Messenger of Peace.

[YouTube] Midori Goto Sarasate Zapateado
[Midori & Friends] Voices of Midori & Friends
[Classical Chops] Midori – Messenger of Peace

Learn more:

  • [New York Times 7.28.1986] Girl, 14, Conquers Tanglewood with 3 Violins: “But then, in the heat of the long and complex fifth and final movement, [Midori] 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 [Midori] fitted her chin rest onto the new violin. But then she proceeded absolutely unfazed.” Read more
  • [New York Times 1.19.2003] What Has Midori Done for an Encore? Plenty: “”In school it felt very comfortable, very safe,” she said…”I chose freedom, with risks, over safety.” Read more
  • [Broadway World] Midori Selects Hawaii Symphony Orchestra for 2016 Orchestral Residency Program: “During a six-day period in April 2016, internationally-renowned violinist Midori will lead performance workshops, masterclasses and discussion groups with the two orchestras, as well as advocacy visits with legislators.” Read more
  • [United Nations] Messengers of Peace: “Midori continues to inspire young people through music education to build a sense of community and learn from each other.” Read more

Photo credit: Screenshot from [Midori & Friends] Voices of Midori & Friends

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