Internationally renowned soloist joins a storied violin lineage and robust community engagement program at Curtis
PHILADELPHIA—June 27, 2017—The Curtis Institute of Music welcomes celebrated violinist Midori to the faculty beginning in the 2018–19 school year.
“We are thrilled to welcome Midori to Curtis,” said Curtis President Roberto Díaz. “A soloist renowned worldwide who pairs her international performing schedule with a commitment to community collaboration and outreach, she embodies the artist-citizen ideal that we want to instill in our students. Curtis enjoys a long tradition of distinguished and active performers serving on the faculty, and Midori’s work to bring music to underserved communities fits so well with our thriving community engagement program at Curtis. I’m sure that all our students – not just violinists – will have an opportunity to benefit from her presence here.”
In addition to the preeminent musical education offered at Curtis, the school’s emphasis on community engagement was a key element in Midori’s decision to relocate to Philadelphia. Curtis offers many opportunities for students to connect with local and global communities through the highest level of artistry, from project-based curricular offerings, to post-graduate fellowships, to performances in the community.
“I’m extremely excited about re-locating to Philadelphia to begin working at Curtis, the very institution that has trained a great number of the musicians I most respect," said Midori. "Nurturing younger generations of musicians through lessons, coachings, and community collaborative activities has been closely intertwined with my teaching responsibilities. Community-building through music and connecting with young musicians are an important part of my career, and I look forward to exploring with them how we, as artists, can all become more a part of the culture of our community—particularly in Philadelphia. With this return to the East Coast I will also be close to New York City, where I grew up and still have family, as well as one of my non-profit organizations, Midori & Friends.”
During the 2017–18 academic year, Midori will visit Curtis a number of times to give masterclasses, attend student-centered activities, and work with students participating in the school’s community engagement programs and Artist-Citizen courses. She joins the school’s distinguished violin faculty — which includes Shmuel Ashkenasi, Pamela Frank, Ida Kavafian, Aaron Rosand, and Arnold Steinhardt. Application information will be posted in the fall at www.curtis.edu.
Midori comes to Curtis after 14 years on the faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where she was a distinguished professor, a department chair for eight years, and holder of the esteemed Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin. Prior to Thornton, Midori served on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music. She will teach full-time at USC through May 2018 and assume a role as a visiting artist there beginning in fall 2018.
“We at USC Thornton are extremely grateful for Midori’s many years of innovative teaching and leadership. As well-known as she is internationally as a performer, she is widely respected for her outreach to underserved children and communities, and admired for her commitment to her students,” said Robert Cutietta, Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music. “She has been tremendous for our strings program, and we’re happy that she will continue, going forward, to have a relationship with our students as a visiting artist.”
“I am thankful for the time spent and the opportunities I have had at USC Thornton,” said Midori. “I was privileged to be part of an incredible growth in the Strings Department over the last 10 years, and it was always truly inspiring to be in an environment where challenges were met with creativity and enthusiasm, and problems were solved with positive rigor. The tenure I have had at Thornton was one of great learning, inspiration, and personal growth and I’m looking forward to continuing my work with Thornton students for the foreseeable future in a different capacity.”
“I have valued our friendship and collaboration over the years, and know that I speak for my colleagues in the Strings Department and beyond in wishing Midori well in this next phase of her remarkable life’s journey,” said Ralph Kirshbaum, the Gregor Piatigorsky Chair in Violoncello and chair of the Strings Department at USC Thornton. “Midori gave tirelessly of her time and energy at Thornton, helping to forge a cohesive structure and set of values within the Strings Department that will serve as a significant reference point for many years to come.”
Curtis Institute of Music: Jennifer Kallend, firstname.lastname@example.org, (215) 717-3190
Midori: Amanda Sweet, Bucklesweet Media, email@example.com, (347) 564-3371
University of Southern California: Evan Calbi, firstname.lastname@example.org, (213) 740-3229
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Since her illustrious debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11, violinist Midori has forged a distinguished career in classical music.
Midori’s extensive discography includes 19 albums, most recently her recording of Bach’s Violin Sonatas and Partitas, as well as The Art of Midori, a 10-CD compendium. Midori’s library also includes the violin concerto DoReMi, written for her by Peter Eötvös. A recording featuring Midori’s performance of Paul Hindemith’s Violin Concerto received a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium.
Among many honors Midori has received in recent years, she was named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and received the prestigious Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos.
In 1992 Midori founded Midori & Friends, a non-profit organization in New York City that brings music education programs to underserved schoolchildren. Two other organizations, Music Sharing, based in Japan, and Partners in Performance, based in the U.S., also bring music closer to the lives of people who may not otherwise have involvement with the arts. Midori’s commitment to community collaboration and outreach is further realized in her Orchestra Residencies Program, which involves week-long residencies with American youth orchestras.