The inspiring forces behind ORP

Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders



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 and a Beethoven Trios concert tour on three continents.

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. Other 2023-2024 season highlights include performances of 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. Additional 2023-2024 highlights include concerts with the KBS Symphony In Seoul and with Solistes Européens, Luxembourg at the Luxembourg Philharmonic as well as guest appearances in Amsterdam, Antwerp, South America and Riga.

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 2022-2023. 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.


Coordinator & Performing Assistant

Adventure and collaboration are at the heart of violinist Clara Kim’s multi-faceted career as new music performer, chamber musician, and educator.

By commissioning, premiering, and championing works from living composers, Clara has quickly established herself at the forefront of her generation in the interpretation of contemporary music. She has had the honor of working with some of today’s most celebrated and imaginative musical voices such as Chris Theofanidis, Martin Bresnick, Augusta Read Thomas, Grammy Award-winning Stephen Hartke, Kaija Saariaho, Jacob TV, and the Sleeping Giant Collective.

In 2015, Clara commissioned and premiered Jordan Nelson’s Concerto for Violin, Four Singers, and Chamber Ensemble, and in 2018 another violin concerto for solo violin, ensemble, and electronics by Patrick O’Malley. Other concerto highlights have included performances of Edward Nesbit’s Violin Concerto with Montreal’s Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Domaine Forget, Canada) and Jonathan Harvey’s Scena with Thornton Edge (Los Angeles, California).

Clara’s passion for new music has led to performances at Columbia’s Miller Theatre, Albany’s American Music Festival, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and Princeton Sound Kitchen, as well as at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall as part of the Kronos and American Soundscapes workshops. She is the first prize winner of the 2012 International Solo Violin Competition in Cremona, Italy.

Dedicated to collaboration at the highest artistic level, Clara’s largest project to date is the Argus Quartet, a string quartet committed to connecting with audiences through both traditional and new music. Argus is the first prize winner of the MPrize Chamber Arts Competition and the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, and has been in residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, James Madison University’s Contemporary Music Festival, and Yale University. The quartet most recently served as the Graduate Resident String Quartet at The Juilliard School in New York City.

With this adventurous and versatile ensemble, Clara has performed at top venues such as Carnegie Hall, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t Ij, Roulette, Bang on a Can at Noguchi Museum, the Shalin Liu Performance Center at Rockport Music, and Music Academy of the West. Argus has received a Chamber Music Commissioning Grant and a Tarisio Trust Young Artists Grant in support of their commissioning and recording projects.

Clara also dedicates much of her energy to community engagement work and education. She has taught at a number of leading academic institutions, including the University of Southern California where she also coordinated the Non-Major Strings Program. She frequently
presents masterclasses and workshops across the country at places like Princeton University,
Colburn Conservatory of Music, and the LA Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship Program,
among others.

Clara holds degrees from Tufts University (English Literature, Magna Cum Laude), New England Conservatory (Pi Kappa Lambda), the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, a Doctoral Degree from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music (Pi Kappa Lambda) where she received the Pi Kappa Lambda Doctoral Award, and an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School.

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Photo by Jeffrey Hornstein