Monday, January 23, 2017

Midori to Perform with PSO for First Time Since 2004

Violinist Midori to Perform with Pittsburgh Symphony Credit: Timothy Greenfield Sanders

Violin superstar Midori first captured hearts and minds of audiences 30 years ago as an 11-year-old virtuoso. She returns to Heinz Hall for the first time since 2004 to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra during the BNY Mellon Grand Classics on February 3 & 5 at Heinz Hall.

During the weekend’s performances, Midori will dazzle audiences with Mendelssohn’s poetic and lyrical Violin Concerto. Music Director Manfred Honeck opens the program with Mozart’s ingenious “Haffner” Symphony. Originally designed as party music for the prominent Haffner family of Salzburg, this work was later transformed into a symphony for the great musical center of Vienna. This concert weekend also features Brahms’ triumphant Symphony No. 1. This work, nearly 14 years in the making, announced the composer’s arrival as a symphonist in dramatic style.

A pre-concert talk, open to all ticketholders and led by Andrés Franco, will occur on stage one hour before each concert. The CMU Young Artist Orchestra will perform in the Grand Lobby one hour before the concert start on Friday, February 3. Both of these pre-concert activities are free for ticketholders.

Program notes for the weekend are available online at pittsburghsymphony.org/Midori and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $94, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/Midori.

Midori will also perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony during the Scottish Rite Cathedral Series in New Castle on February 4 and at the Canady Symphony Series at West Virginia University on February 6.

MIDORI is one of the most legendary violinists of this generation. In addition to performing at the highest levels internationally, she has also been recognized by the United Nations and the World Economic Forum for her exceptional commitment to education and community engagement throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the developing world. More recently, Midori has been making a sustained commitment to the violin repertoire of the future, commissioning several new concerto and recital works.

In the last few seasons, Midori has added several new recordings to her extensive catalogue of discs – a recording of Bach’s complete solo sonatas and partitas and a forthcoming release of the violin concerto DoReMi written for her by Peter Eötvös and recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. In 2014, a recording featuring Midori’s performance of Hindemith’s Violin Concerto with NDR Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium.

Midori is recognized as an extraordinary performer, a devoted and gifted educator and an innovative community engagement activist. In 1992 she founded Midori & Friends, a nonprofit organization in New York which brings music education programs to underserved New York City schoolchildren in every borough each year. Two other organizations, Music Sharing, based in Japan, and Partners in Performance, based in the United States, also bring music closer to the lives of people who may not otherwise have involvement with the arts. Her commitment to community collaboration and outreach is further realized in her Orchestra Residences Program. In 2007, she was named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Midori was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1971 and began studying the violin with her mother, Setsu Goto, at an early age. Zubin Mehta first heard Midori play in 1982 and it was he who invited her to make her now legendary debut – at the age of 11 – at the New York Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s Eve concert, on which occasion she received a standing ovation and the impetus to begin a major career. Today, Midori lives in Los Angeles, where, in addition to her many commitments, she continues her position as Distinguished Professor of Violin and Jascha Heifetz Chair at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

Midori’s violin is the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù “ex-Huberman.” She uses three bows – two by Dominique Peccatte and one by Paul Siefried.

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