The famed violinist Midori Goto, known worldwide simply as “Midori,” will perform at the Welcome Dinner and Opening Celebration for the 2017 USC Global Conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Sept. 21.
Midori, who holds the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin at the USC Thornton School of Music, established an international presence first as a performer, and now is equally known as an educator and musical community engagement advocate.
She serves as a guest professor at Japan’s Soai University and Shanghai Conservatory, as well as being an honorary professor at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. She has been a guest faculty member at the New England Conservatory and this year is a guest artist faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and the Peabody Conservatory. She holds a master’s degree in psychology, and in 2013, completed a one-year position as a professor at Oxford University, where she chaired a multi-disciplinary symposium on music education and community development. She holds an honorary doctorate degree from Yale University.
Her debut at age 11 with the New York Philharmonic launched her career, which has taken her to virtually every major international capital and concert hall. She balances her performing schedule between recitals, chamber music performances and appearances with the world’s most prestigious orchestras.
That schedule, in turn, is balanced with her teaching, recording and nonprofit advocacy work.
“It is an honor to teach,” says Midori, who often performs with USC Thornton students – and can regularly be seen walking across campus late at night after giving lessons. “In our studio, the tenets of honesty, health and dignity guide us through the times of trial, self-doubt, self-questioning and growth,” she explains. “The values of discipline and honesty find their way into perseverance in daily practice and in the diligent training of the ears, guiding us to approach any piece with humility and respect.”
Starting in 1992, Midori has founded a series of successful nonprofit organizations aimed at youth. Midori & Friends, created in New York City 24 years ago, brings musical education to underprivileged children in partnership with the city’s public schools. Partners in Performance, based in the United States, and Music Sharing, formed in Japan, bring music-making into smaller communities typically underserved by live arts.
In recognition of these efforts, the U.N. Secretary-General named Midori a “Messenger of Peace” in 2007.
Her busy schedule also includes a significant recording career. Her discography runs to dozens of recordings, including The Essential Midori, a compilation issued by Sony Masterworks. Her most recent recordings include a GRAMMY-winning CD featuring her performance of the Hindemith Violin Concerto with the NDR Symphony Orchestra, a CD of Bloch, Janacek and Shostakovich sonatas and a recording of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin.
Midori plays on the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù ex-Huberman violin.
USC Global Conference
The Global Conference is USC’s marquee international event held every other year in Asia. This biennial event brings together business, government, and academic leaders from across the Pacific Rim — as well as USC faculty, staff, and alumni — to discuss critical issues, developments, and opportunities facing the region and the world.
The 2017 USC Global Conference will be held in Tokyo, Japan, at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo from Sept. 21-23, 2017. Advanced registration is highly recommended as the conference is expected to sell out.