MidoriViolin Özgür AydinPiano


Tuesday, March 11, 2025 |  7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue Information


About This Performance

An artist who has defined and redefined classical music in our time, Midori presents a program inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca and his poem, Casida of the Lament. From Poulenc’s Sonata, dedicated to Lorca, and Ravel’s setting of the Hebrew prayer for the dead to transcriptions capturing the uplift of spirituals, this program exploits the violin’s expressive capacities. “Midori’s interpretation, in a word, was simply magical…No encore was needed; the audience was already speechless” (Houston Chronicle). She is accompanied by frequent collaborator and award-winning pianist Özgür Aydin.


BRAHMS: Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 76
POULENC: Sonata for Violin and Piano
RAVEL: Kaddish (arr. Garban); Tzigane
CHE BUFORD: Spirituals (West Coast Premiere)

Performance Sponsors

Fred M. Levin, The Shenson Foundation

Artist Information

Performer Biographies

Midori is a visionary artist, activist, and educator who explores and builds connections between music and the human experience. In the four decades since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11, the “simply magical” (Houston Chronicle) violinist has performed with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and has collaborated with world-renowned musicians, including Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma, and many others. Midori is the newly appointed Artistic Director of Ravinia Steans Music Institute’s Piano & Strings program and oversees the program beginning in summer 2024.

Midori celebrated her 40th-anniversary last season with Warner Classics’ release of the complete Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. She began the current season with a summer appearance at the Santander International Festival, followed by fall tours of Europe and North America with Festival Strings Lucerne performing Schumann’s Violin Concerto in D Minor and Beethoven’s Romance No. 2, the latter of which she recorded with the Swiss chamber orchestra for an album of Beethoven released on Warner Classics in 2020. Other 2023–24 season highlights include performing Bernstein’s Serenade with the National Repertory Orchestra under Michael Stern, WDR Symphony in Germany under Constantinos Carydis, and Sofia Philharmonic in Bulgaria. She plays Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A Minor with the Iris Collective and Orchestra Lumos, also under Stern’s baton, and with the Prague Philharmonia under Eugene Tzigane; she also performs a recital at the Long Center in Austin, Texas. In 2024 she gives two performances of the 2019 Violin Concerto An die Unsterbliche Geliebte (“To the Immortal Beloved”), written for her by Detlev Glanert: in January with the NDR Radiophilharmonie under Andrew Manze, and in February with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, a co-commissioner of the work.

Deeply committed to furthering humanitarian and educational goals, Midori has founded several non-profit organizations; the New York City-based Midori & Friends and Japan-based MUSIC SHARING both celebrated 30th anniversaries in 2022–23. For the Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP), which supports youth orchestras, Midori commissioned a new work from composer Derek Bermel to be performed virtually during the COVID lockdown, and ORP recently worked with the Afghan Youth Orchestra (in exile in Portugal). Midori’s Partners in Performance (PiP) helps to bring chamber music to smaller communities in the U.S. In recognition of her work as an artist and humanitarian, she serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, and was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2021.

Born in Osaka in 1971, she began her violin studies with her mother, Setsu Goto, at an early age. In 1982, conductor Zubin Mehta invited the then 11-year-old Midori to perform with the New York Philharmonic in the orchestra’s annual New Year’s Eve concert, where the foundation was laid for her subsequent career. Midori is the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Smith College, Yale University, Longy School of Music, and Shenandoah University. She plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù ‘ex-Huberman’ and uses four bows—two by Dominique Peccatte, one by François Peccatte, and one by Paul Siefried.

Turkish-American pianist Özgür Aydin made his major concerto debut in 1997 in a performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In the same year, he won the renowned ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the Nippon Music Award in Tokyo—a recognition that has since served as the basis for an active and diverse international performing career. He is also a laureate of the Cleveland International Piano Competition.

Mr. Aydin has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras in Germany and Turkey, as well as with the BBC Concert Orchestra London, the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, Slovak State Philharmonic, and Canada’s Calgary Philharmonic. Frequently invited to summer music festivals, he has appeared at Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Ravinia, and Edinburgh. He is a guest at many prestigious venues, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Munich’s Herkulessaal, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

Mr. Aydin has made recordings of solo piano works by Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninov. His performances of the complete cycles of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas and 5 concertos as well as Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier have been highly praised by the critics.

He is also a dedicated chamber musician; he enjoyed recurrent collaborations with violinists Midori and Kolja Blacher, cellist Clemens Hagen, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic. A new recording with Midori consisting of works by Bloch, Janacek, and Shostakovic is released on Onyx Classiscs.

Born in Colorado, USA, to Turkish parents, Mr. Aydin began his music studies at the Ankara Conservatory in Turkey. He subsequently studied with Peter Katin at the Royal College of Music in London and Prof. Kammerling at the Hanover Music Academy. He has also received valuable instruction from artists such as Tatiana Nikolaeva, Andras Schiff, and Ferenc Rados.

Mr. Aydin lives in Berlin and teaches at the University of the Arts.

Artist Video

Midori Plays Bach’s Prelude from Partita No. 3 Live at Carnegie Hall