* MIDORI *





Music is a moral law.
It gives a soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
a charm to sadness,
gaiety and life to everything.
It is the essence of order,
and leads to all that is good,
just and beautiful,
of which it is the invisible,
but nevertheless dazzling,
passionate, and eternal form.
-Plato







MIDORI has been playing violin for 24 of her 27 years, and performing for 21. Surrounded by music from birth, as her violinist mother Setsu Goto took her to orchestral rehearsals, she soon fell in love with the violin, and began her first lessons on her own tiny instrument at three.
Midori studied and practised daily with Setsu and made astonishing progress. At six, she made her concert debut in her native Osaka, Japan performing one of the extremely difficult Paganini Caprices before a delighted audience, and receiving her first standing ovation of many throughout her distinguished career.

Two years later, an American friend of Setsu's taped the prodigy playing concertos by Bach, Paganini and Saint-Saens and sent the recording to renowned Juilliard teacher Dorothy DeLay, who was so astonished by the playing she invited Midori to the 1981 Aspen Music Festival.
At Aspen, Midori met the virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman, who wept when he heard the tiny child perform a difficult Bartok concerto, and who later became a close friend and mentor. Midori also performed for Miss de Lay at Aspen. Her mature interpretation of the mighty Chaconne from Bach's famous D minor Partita won her a place in Miss DeLay's class at the renowned Juilliard School, and Midori and Setsu left Japan for New York in 1982.
Midori's meteoric career took off that same year, when the 11-year-old was a surprise performer at the New York Philharmonic's New Year's Eve concert, conducted by Zubin Mehta.
At 14, she made the front page of the New York Times and won hearts with her brilliant playing of Leonard Bernstein's Serenade during a New York Philharmonic Central Park concert, despite breaking strings on two violins during the performance.
Since then, Midori has continued to dazzle audiences worldwide with her impressive technique and increasingy mature interpretations of violin masterworks.

As well, she is strongly committed to fostering a love of music in children and devotes a significant portion of each season to her work with the Midori Foundation, which she established in 1992 to bring music to schools in the United States and Japan.
biographical sketch provided by Lee Anthony

Click HERE & Read and interview with Midori


Midori graduated from the high school at the Professional Children's School. At Julliard she went to the pre-College Division. She had Dorothy DeLay as her main violin teacher and also once a week saw Jens Ellerman to work on the basics.

Midori plays 2 violins. One is the ex-David, Guarneri del Gesu. It was loaned to her by the Stradivari Society when she was 10 years old. After several years she purchased the instrument. Midori has placed her lovely 3/4 size violin into The Stradivari Society collection for loan to another young talent. She was the first violinist loaned a great instrument from the Stradivari Society, and now she is the first artist to support them the use of one of her own instruments. She plays a wonderful concert violin, the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesu ex-Huberman. It is on loan to her, for her lifetime, from the Hayashibara Foundation. The ex-Huberman had been Ruggerio Ricci's violin for many years. She used the Guarneri-David to record the Tchaikovsky Concerto and recorded the Sibelius Concerto on the Stradivari-Jupiter. Midori has several bows: two by Dominique Pecatte and one by FranÁois Pecatte.

As a childprodigy, her brilliance on the violin amazed, but for the violinist Midori, musical maturity & expressiveness has now captured the spotlight



photograph © Nicolina Curcuru
Midori and Robert McDonald
November 11, 1997
Wharton Center Michigan State University
Karol Szymanowski Mythes, Op. 30
Beethoven's Sonata No. 3 in E-flat major Op.12
Brahms Sonata No. 3 in D Major Op. 108
permission to use this photo from
Michigan State University -
The State News

VIDEO - MIDORI Live at Carnegie Hall ~ Sony Classical

Ravel- Tzigane * Sarasate - Zapateado
Ernst- Last Rose of Summer * Debussy- Beau Soir
Strauss- Sonata Op.18 * Chopin- Nocturne Op.Posth.
Mozart Sonata,G Maj. K.301 * Beethoven,Sonata No. 8
Midori's Carnegie Hall debut was on her eighteenth birthday
Midori's English teacher speaks about Midori's life as a child
This is an excellent video! It is available from ~ Sony Classical
MIDORI'S Recordings
DVORŃK 1989 Violin Concert
  • Romance op.11,Carnival Overture
  • PAGANINI 1989
  • 24 Caprices op. 1 1989
  • Midori ∑ Pinchas Zukerman
  • Bach Violin Concerto
  • Vivaldi Concerto for 2 Violins
  • Vivaldi Concerto Op.3 No.8
  • Violin Concerto
    RV 199 "Il sospetto"
  • LIVE at Carnegie Hall 1991
  • Beethoven- Sonata No. 8 Op. 30
  • Strauss- Sonata Op.18
  • Chopin- Nocturne Op.Posth.
  • Ernst- Last Rose of Summer
  • Debussy- Beau Soir
  • Ravel- Tzigane
  • SIBELIUS Violin Concerto 1994
  • Bruch Scottish fantasy
  • FRANCK & ELGAR Violin Sonatas
    1997
    Midori and Robert McDonald
    Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto 1998
  • Tchaikovsky Concerto in D Major
  • Shostakovich Concerto No.1 in A Minor
  • BART”K 1990
    Violin Concertos
  • No. 1 & No. 2
  • Paganini Violin Concerto Number 1
    London Symphony Orchestra
    PHILIPS Recording
    Mozart:Sinfonia Concertante 2001
    with violist NobukoImai
  • Concerto in D Violin, Piano, Orchestra
  • ENCORE - 1992
  • Kreisler: Praeludium and Allegro
  • Sarasate: Habanera, Op.21, No.2
  • Paganini: Cantabile
  • Cui: Orientale, Op.50, No.9
  • Bacewics: Oberek, No.2
  • Elgar: Salut d'amour, Op.12
  • Kreisler: Miniature Viennese March
  • Shostakovich: Four Prelues, Nos.10,15,16,24
  • Elgar: Chanson de matin
  • Sarasate: Introduction et Tarentelle
  • Dvorak: Slavonic Dance, Op.46, No.2
  • Prokofiev: March, Love for 3 Oranges
  • Tchaikovsky: Melodie, Op.42, No.3
  • Symanowski: I.La Fontaine d'Arethuse
  • Kreisler: Syncopation
  • Gluck: Melodie
  • Faure: Berceuse, Op.16
  • Scriabin: Etude in Thirds, Op.8, No.10
  • Bartok: Romanian Folk Dances, Sz 56
  • Ysaye: Reve d'enfant, Op.14
  • French Violin Sonatas - 2002
    new this year
    Pianist Robert McDonald.
  • Poulenc's Sonata
    -Violin and Piano
  • Debussy's Sonata
    in G Minor
    -Violin and Piano
  • Saint-SaŽns' Sonata
    No. 1 in D Minor
    Op. 75
    -Violin and Piano
    available on CD
    & SACD
  • Mendelssohn & Bruch Violin Concertos - 2003
    Mendelssohn: Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
    Bruch: Concerto No.1 in G Minor, Op. 26
    Berlin Philharmonic
    Midori's 20th Anniversary CD - 2003
    Wieniawski Concerto No.1 in F-sharp Minor Op. 14
    Debussy La fille aux cheveux de lin
    Kreisler La Gitana
    Prokofiev Tales of an Old Grandmother, Op. 31
    Amy Beach Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 23
    Poldini The Dancing Doll
    Elgar Chanson de nuit, Op. 15, No. 1
    Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
    Robert McDonald, piano


    Midori's young brother, RYU GOTO, played the first movement of Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 1 in 1997 at the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony's Christmas Pops concert when he was 9 years old. Ryu Goto was born in NYC in 1988. Setsu Goto, their mother, started his violin studies as she did Midori, at age 3. Ryu also studied violin at the Pre-College Division of the School of Music with Ms. Yoko Gilbert and attends St. David's School. In August of 1999 the 12-year-old joined the Dallas Symphony to perform Saint-Saens' Violin Concerto No. 3. He plays a 1715 Stradivari violin, the Ex-Pierre Rode and the Duke of Cambridge. Presently Ryu is studying physics at Harvard University.



        Midori has won numerous awards.
        Los Angeles Music Center's Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award 1990
        1991 one of first recipients, New York State's Asian-American Heritage Month Award
        1994 the Suntory Hall Award
        the Japanese Government Best Artist of the Year 1988
        Japan's Crystal Award for her contribution to the arts
        Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Spirit of the City award 1995
        Americans for the Arts, the National Arts Award, 1998
        Business Council, Inc. the Encore Award, 1998
        2001 Avery Fisher Prize


    Midori completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Gender Studies at the Gallatin School at New York University graduating magna cum laude and her Masters degree in psychology in 2005. She enjoys reading and presently lives in Los Angles.


    In 2004 Midori was named to the Jascha Heifetz Chair at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. At USC, she gives individual violin instruction and teaches chamber music.

    Midori created the Midori Center for Community Engagement at USC's Thornton School of Music. The Center includes a resource library and sponsors seminars to help musicians learn the art of engaging with communities. She co-directs the Center.

    Visit Midori's Official Website



    Top black framed photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders