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Midori Gotō

Midori receiving a standing ovation at San Antonio Symphony at The Majestic Theatre, San Antonio, September 2007.
Background information
Born October 25, 1971 (1971-10-25) (age 38)
Genres Classical
Occupations Violinist
Instruments Violin

Midori Gotō (五嶋 みどり Gotō Midori?) (born October 25, 1971) is a violinist.



She is usually referred to simply as Midori. She was born in Osaka, Japan. She was first taught the violin by her mother, Setsu Gotō. Her mother discovered her daughter's innate musicality at the age of two, when she found Midori humming a Bach theme she had rehearsed a few days earlier. She started taking piano lessons first but quit within three months. On her third birthday, her grandmother gave her a 1/16 size violin, then her mother decided to teach her the violin.

Midori gave her first public performance at the age of seven, playing a piece from the 24 Caprices of Paganini. She and her mother moved to New York City in 1982 where Midori started violin studies with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard Pre-College. As her audition piece, Midori performed the 13-minute-long Chaconne by Bach. This is generally considered to be one of the most difficult solo violin pieces ever written. In the same year, she made her concert debut New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, a conductor with whom she would record many concertos on the Sony Classical label. In 1986 would come her now legendary performance at Tanglewood. An astonishing success, she broke the E-string on her violin twice; She thus had to borrow violins from the concertmaster and associate concertmaster in order to finish the piece and had Leonard Bernstein, the conductor, kneeling before her in awe. The next day the New York Times front page carried this headline: "Girl, 14, Conquers Tanglewood with 3 Violins."[1]

When Midori was 15 years old, she decided to leave the Juilliard Pre-College after spending approximately four years there. About five years later in 1992, she formed Midori & Friends, a non-profit organization that aims to bring quality music education to inner-city children in New York City. In 2001, Midori received the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize. With the prize money, she started a foundation program called Partners in Performance. In the subsequent years, Midori has inaugurated two further community-based projects called the University Residencies Program and the Orchestra Residencies Program.

Midori is the recipient of the 25th Suntory Music Award (1993).

In 2000, Midori graduated from the Gallatin School at New York University with a degree in psychology, subsequently earning a Master's Degree in psychology from NYU a few years later. Midori has been appointed to the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Music at USC's Thornton School of Music, where she currently chairs the Strings Department. Previously, she was on the faculty at Manhattan School of Music. Midori is also a board member of the American String Teachers Association.

Midori plays on the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù "ex-Huberman" violin. The violin is on lifetime loan to her from the Hayashibara Foundation. Her bows are made by Dominique Pecatte (two) and by François Pecatte (one).[2] When she is not on the road, Midori lives in Los Angeles. She enjoys reading, writing, and attending the theatre.


  • Bach/Vivaldi: Double Violin Concertos, Bach Concerto in D Minor, Concerto in E; Vivaldi Concerto in C Minor, Concerto in A Minor Op 3 No. 8; Philips 3/1986
  • Paganini: 24 Caprices for Solo Violin, Op.1
  • Bartók: Concerto No.1 for Violin and Orchestra, Op. Posth., Bartók: Concerto No.2 for Violin and Orchestra
  • Midori "Live At Carnegie Hall"
  • Dvořák: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 53, Dvořák: Romance in F minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 11, Dvořák: Carnival Overture, Op 92
  • Encore!
  • Sibelius: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, Op. 47, Bruch: Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46
  • Franck: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major, Elgar: Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor, Op. 82
  • Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Op. 35, Shostakovich: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No.1 in A minor
  • Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, KV. 364/320d, Mozart: Concerto in D Major, KV. Anh. 56 (315f)
  • Poulenc: Sonata for Violin and Piano, Debussy: Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Piano, Saint-Saëns: Sonata No.1 in D minor for Violin and Piano, Op. 75
  • Midori's 20th Anniversary CD
  • Mendelssohn: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 64, Bruch: Concerto No.1 for Violin and Orchestra in G Minor, Op. 26
  • Bach/Bartók: Bach Sonata No. 2 in A minor BWV 1003, Bartók: Sonata No. 1 (with Robert McDonald)
  • The Essential Midori


  1. ^ The New York Times on the Web
  2. ^ Midori's Official Web Site

External links



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