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Violin virtuoso Midori gives masterclass at Loyola

Loyola press release - January 4, 2010

Brilliant and multi-faceted violinist Midori will direct a violin masterclass at Loyola University New Orleans on Friday, Jan. 8, at 1:30 p.m., in Monroe Hall’s Nunemaker Auditorium. Young musicians from the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra along with students from Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts will perform for and be critiqued by Midori. The event is open to the public.

Midori comes to New Orleans as part of her Orchestra Residencies Program. With this program, Midori spends a week with a local youth orchestra which has ties to a professional orchestra. She performs with both orchestras, coaches young musicians and works with the groups to raise arts awareness within the community.

In addition to the masterclass, the public is invited to watch Midori perform Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Tickets for that event can be purchased online through the LPO box office or by calling 504-523-6530.

Throughout her career, Midori has initiated several arts organizations and programs. She started Midori and Friends in 1992 in response to serious cutbacks in music education in New York City schools. She also conceived Music Sharing, which concentrates on music education for young people with a special focus on both Western classical music and traditional Japanese music, including instrument instruction for the disabled.

In 2001, Midori was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize. With the award money, she created another nonprofit, Partners in Performance, with the aim to broaden the audience for chamber music by bringing high profile chamber music performances to small community-based organizations in the United States.

Midori’s 2008-09 season included seven tours and major community engagement programs, and a first-ever tour of trio repertoire with two distinguished colleagues, pianist Jonathan Biss and cellist Johannes Moser. Midori also performed for the first time in Central America, with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, and performed worldwide with the Toronto Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and the Vienna Symphony.

Midori was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1971 and began studying the violin as a child with her mother. Her career was launched at an early age when, in 1982 conductor Zubin Mehta invited her to be a surprise guest soloist for the New York Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s Eve concert.

Midori graduated magna cum laude from the Gallatin School of New York University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and gender studies, and in 2005, she received a master’s degree in psychology. She lives in Los Angeles and is chair of the strings program and professor of violin at the University of Southern California.

Her violin is the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesu “ex-Huberman,” which is on lifetime loan to her from the Hayashibara Foundation.

For more information, contact Sean Snyder in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at smsnyder@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.