Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
October 25
Can You Guess?
Great violins sometimes cost millions of dollars, yet we often see young artists playing them. Can You Guess how young artists can play such great instruments?
What Else
1564 - Birth of German composer Hans Leo Hassler in Nuremberg.

1772 - Birth of Belgian composer Corneille Vander Planken.

1815 - Birth of Italian violinist and composer Ernesto Sivori in Genoa. Paganini's only pupil.

1815 - Birth of Italian composer Philipp Fahrbach.

1825 - Birth of Austrian composer and conductor Johann Strauss II. (aka Jr. and 'The Younger') in Vienna. The 'Waltz King'.

1838 - Georges  Bizet, French opera composer, was born.

1848 - Premiere of Giuseppi Verdi's opera The Corsair at the Teatro Grande in Trieste.

1866 - Georg Alfred Schumann,  German composer, was born.

1885 - Premiere of Brahms's Fourth Symphony in E minor, in Meiningen. Brahms conducting.

1904 - Death of Italian violinist and composer Teresa Milanollo, at 77, in Paris. Sister of violinist Maria Milanollo.

1907 - Death of English composer Edmund Hart Turpin, at 72.

1913 - Birth of American composer H. Grant Fletcher.

1923 - Birth of Australian composer Don Banks in Melbourne. 

1952 - Death of Russian composer Sergei Bortkiewicz, at 75 in Vienna.

1974 - Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovitch's 15th String Quartet, in Leningrad.

1979 - Premiere of Earl Kim's Violin Concerto. Itzhak Perlman with the New York Philharmonic.

2003 - Premiere of Schuller's Encounters. New England Conservatory of Music.
Midori, with link to her website
Midori Goto was born in Osaka, Japan October 25, 1971. Her name, Midori, means "precious jade" in Japanese. At a very early age Midori became fascinated by the sound of the violin as her mother, Setsu, practiced.  And so it was that at 4 years old her grandmother gave Midori her first violin.  Midori studied with her mother, and just three years later Midori made her very first public appearance and played a Caprice by Paganini.
Midori practiced with her mother every day. A visiting musician friend from New York City heard Midori play and convinced her mother to make a tape. The resulting ensemble pieces . . . Midori accompanied by the barks of her family's two dogs as the three of them "played" the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1, a Bach sonata and the Saint Saens Concerto No. 3  . . . were sent to Dorothy DeLay, a prominent American violin teacher.
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Pinchas Zuckerman heard Midori in Aspen.  He remembers, "Out comes this tiny little thing, not even 10 at the time. I was sitting on a chair and I was as tall as she was standing. She tuned, she bowed to the audience, she bowed to me, she bowed to the pianist - and then she played the Bartok Second Concerto, and I went bananas.  I was absolutely stunned. I turned to the audience and said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know about you, but I have just witnessed a miracle.'"

Midori and her mother moved to New York City, where Midori studied at the pre-college division of the Juilliard School with Miss DeLay and attended the Professional Children's School for her regular studies. Zubin Mehta heard of Midori and contacted Miss DeLay to arrange for an audition. He and the handful of members of the New York Philharmonic who attended the audition were astonished at her skill.  Midori made her debut with the New York Philharmonic as a surprise guest at their New Year's Eve concert. The New York Times said, "[Midori's] command of [the Paganini Concerto's] torturous technical obstacles worked her audience into a fit of enthusiasm."

In 1987 she legendary debut at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein conducting. They were playing Bernstein's Serenade after Plato's 'Symposium' for Solo Violin, String Orchestra, Harp and Percussion.

During the fifth movement Midori broke her E string and was quickly passed concertmaster's violin.  She continued to play as though nothing had happened.  Then, the unthinkable; the E string of the concertmaster's violin broke! She took the violin of the associate concertmaster. Both borrowed instruments were different in size - and both were larger than her own - but Midori completed the piece. When she finished, the audience and the orchestra erupted in applause. Bernstein fell to his knees. The front page of the New York Times the following day read, "Girl, 14, Conquers Tanglewood with 3 Violins."

Over the years Midori has become a well-respected concert and recording artist.  She has played in cities throughout the world including Berlin, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Cleveland, Hamburg, London, Houston, Oslo . . . and the list goes on and on.  England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Poland, France, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong have all seen Midori performances.  She has established relationships with several orchestras and conductors, returning regularly to perform and to deepen relationships which already exist.

Midori has expressed great interest in music education.  Among her efforts are
Midori & Friends . . . music education in New York City.
     University of Southern California . . . Midori holds the 
          Jascha Heifetz Chair at the
Thornton School of Music.
          She teaches violin and chamber music and  helped
          create the Midori Center for Community Engagement."
     Partners in Performance (PiP) . . .  broaden the
          audience for chamber music by bringing high
          profile chamber music performances to small
          community-based organizations in North America.
Music Sharing . . . aiding music education in Japan
     University Residencies Program (URP) . . . strengthen
          ties among artists, students, faculty, and University-
          affiliated presenters, residencies involve ten-to-
          fourteen-day visits (spread out over two years) by
          Midori and other invited artists.

Midori has not neglected her own education, completing Bachelor's and Master's degree programs at NYU.

Recently Midori has become involved in commissioning works from young composers.  Her first, a piano and violin work from Michael Hersch debuted in November of 2004. The second commission, scheduled for performance in 2006-2007, is a work for violin and piano by the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara.

Midori's plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Ges¨ "ex-Huberman" violin.  She also enjoys her two Dominique Pecatte and one Franšois Pecatte bows.
Miss DeLay was evidently not impressed by the other two members of the trio, but she thought Midori sounded more like a 28-year-old than an 8-year-old. She invited Midori to come to the Aspen Summer Music School and Festival in 1981, where they met.
Did You Guess? Often wealthy individuals or organizations with an interest in promoting classical music will purchase an instrument and loan it to a performer.  For example, Midori's violin is on lifetime loan to her from the Hayashibara Foundation.
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