Midori Plays Beethoven

Fri 2 Oct 2020, 7.30PM
Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Mozart Symphony No31 Paris K297
Schubert Symphony No6 Little C major
Interval
Beethoven Violin Concerto

Thomas Søndergård Conductor
Midori Goto Violin

Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert are three of the greatest names in classical music. Between them, they wrote some of the most glorious music ever created – whether it’s the young Schubert reaching for the stars in his endlessly tuneful Sixth Symphony, or Mozart wowing the Paris public with a symphony designed to knock his audience into next week. And then Thomas Søndergård joins superstar violinist Midori in Beethoven’s beautiful Violin Concerto: pure serenity, performed by artists who simply love this music.

This concert is recommended by Classic FM

6.45PM: Soloist Midori in conversation in the Upper Circle Bar.

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Tickets

£42, £33.50, £25.50, £19.50, £13.50

Discounts

Under 18s go free when accompanied by a paying adult (max 2 free children per adult); 16-17 year olds go free; Under 26s/Mature Students £6 in advance/£8 after 5pm on the day; Unemployed £6; Disabled patrons and carers 50% off; Group discounts available.

Box Office

0131 228 1155

Featured Artists

Thomas Søndergård

Thomas Søndergård Conductor

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård is Music Director of Royal Scottish National Orchestra, following six seasons as Principal Guest Conductor. He served as Principal Conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBCNOW) from September 2012 – August 2018, and prior to this, as Principal Conductor and Musical Advisor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra for three seasons.

He has conducted many leading orchestras, including Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Bamberger Symphoniker; leading tours with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and European Union Youth Orchestra; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic; Swedish Radio Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Houston Symphony and Seattle Symphony.

The 2019/20 season includes debuts with Cleveland Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He makes return visits to Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Bayerische Staatsoper orchestra, visits the Guildhall Orchestra for performances of Mahler Symphony No. 7 at the Barbican Centre and embarks on a Korean tour with the orchestra of the Royal Danish Opera. Highlights with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra this season include Berg’s Seven Early Songs with Karen Cargill, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde joined by Simon O'Neill and Jane Irwin, recording work, a European tour and performances of the Verdi Requiem.

Highlights of recent seasons include debuts with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de France, and many re invitations, including Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet), Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Gurzenich-Orchester Köln, SWR Baden-Baden, Sydney Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Norwegian Opera. Recent highlights with RSNO include tours to China and the United States, premieres of new commissions and Marsalis’ Violin Concerto with Nicola Benedetti.

A passionate supporter of the music of Carl Nielsen, his most recent programme with Swedish Radio Symphony (Symphony No. 5) received wide praise as “equal of the great pioneers of Nielsen interpretation… It’s hard to imagine a finer performance of this remarkable symphony” (Dagens Nyheter). As part of the 2015 anniversary celebrations of both Sibelius and Nielsen he conducted a wide variety of their works with many leading orchestras. In 2019 he participated in a special concert to celebrate Nielsen’s work with the Royal Danish Academy of Music Copenhagen.

A highly accomplished opera conductor, he is equally at home in mainstream and contemporary repertoire. Previous opera includes Bayerische Staatsoper (Turandot), Norwegian Opera (Die Zauberflöte), Deutsche Oper Berlin (world premiere of Scartazzini’s Edward II); and Tosca, Turandot (Nina Stemme) and Les dialogues des Carmelites (Royal Swedish Opera). His Royal Danish Opera visit conducting Ruders' opera Kafka's Trial was described as a sensation: "He is one of the best things that has happened to the art of opera for many years" and subsequent productions there have included Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le Nozze di Figaro, La bohème, Cunning Little Vixen and Il viaggio a Reims.

Commercial recordings with BBCNOW include Sibelius Symphonies 1, 2, 6 & 7 and a disc of his tone poems and theatre music, featuring Finlandia and Valse Triste (Linn Records). His first release with Royal Scottish National Orchestra features music by R Strauss, the concert suite from Der Rosenkavalier and Ein Heldenleben (Linn Records). Pentatone also recently released the Lutoslawski and Dutilleux cello concertos with Johannes Moser and Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin. Earlier noteworthy recordings include Vilde Frang's celebrated debut recording for EMI, and Ruders’ Piano Concerto No. 2, (Bridge Records) which was nominated for a Gramophone Award. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Queen Ingrid Foundation Prize for services to Music in Denmark.

Midori  Goto

Midori Goto Violin

Midori is a visionary artist, activist and educator whose unique career has transcended traditional boundaries through her relentless drive to explore and build connections between music and the human experience. Never at rest, Midori brings the same dynamic innovation and expressive insight that has made her a prominent concert violinist to her other roles as a noted global cultural ambassador and a dedicated music educator.

A leading concert violinist for over 35 years, Midori regularly transfixes audiences around the world, bringing together graceful precision and intimate expression that allows the listening public to not just hear music but to be personally moved by it. She has performed with, among many others, the London, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco symphony orchestras, the Berlin, Vienna, New York, Los Angeles, St Petersburg and Czech philharmonics, the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with such outstanding musicians as Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Emanuel Ax, Zubin Mehta, Seiki Ozawa, Christoph Eschenbach, Mariss Jansons, Paavo Järvi, Antonello Manacorda, Constantinos Carydis, Yo-Yo Ma, Susanna Mälkki, and Menahem Pressler.

Midori’s recent and upcoming global engagements highlight her versatility through performances of orchestral and chamber works by Bernstein, Bach, Respighi, Beethoven, Schumann, Fauré, Debussy, Enescu, Prokofiev and Brahms. Her tour schedule has included Europe with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Japan with the Estonian Festival Orchestra and Paavo Järvi and it takes her in the 2019:20 season to Asia with Festival Strings Lucerne. She also undertakes a worldwide recital tour with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. She makes guest appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Orchestra del Teatro Massimo and NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester.

An advocate for music and composers of her time, Midori will present compositions by living female composers as part of a project dedicated to promoting contemporary music. She will also premiere a new violin concerto by Detlev Glanert in Hamburg in May 2020, during the Beethoven anniversary year. Midori previously inspired Peter Eötvös to compose the violin concerto DoReMi, which she then recording with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by the composer. Other commissions and world premieres have included works by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Brett Dean and Johannes Staud.

Midori’s diverse discography includes sonatas by Bloch, Janácek and Shostakovich performed with pianist Özgür Aydi, and a 2013 GRAMMY Award-winning recording of Hindemith’s violin concerto with Christoph Eschenbach conducting the NDR Symphony Orchestra. The two-CD set of her highly acclaimed interpretation of J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin was released in 2015, followed in 2017 by a DVD of the same repertoire, filmed at Köthen Castle, where Bach served as Kapellmeister. Earlier recordings on the Sony Classical label feature works by Mozart, Dvorák, Bartók, Poulenc and Sibelius, among others.

In her quest to explore and expand how music is essential to people everywhere, Midori goes beyond the concert hall and recording studio to areas where music access is most needed. In 2017, Midori celebrated the 25th anniversary of the activities of two of her non-profit organisations: Midori & Friends, which brings high-quality music education to New York City youth, and MUSIC SHARING, a Japan-based programme that provides access to both western classical and Japanese music traditions through innovative events, activities, instruction and presentations in local schools, institutions and hospitals. Her Partners in Performance organisation, now in its 16th year, promotes interest in classical music outside of major urban centres across the United States, while her Orchestral Residencies Program, founded in 2004, encourages young musicians in the United States and beyond to develop a life-long and multifaceted engagement with the performing arts, helping to ensure that the classical scene will continue vibrantly for years to come.

Midori also brings her activism to a global level. MUSIC SHARING’s International Community Engagement Program (ICEP) promotes intercultural exchange by enabling young musicians from around the world to come together and present community performances for audiences with limited exposure to classical music. The programme’s ensembles have performed in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Laos, Mongolia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Vietnam (twice) and India with follow-up appearances each season in Japan. The 2019:20 ICEP takes place for the second time in Cambodia.

A persuasive advocate for cultural diplomacy, Midori has also been invited to speak a the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington D.C., among other places. She has been honoured for her international activism: in 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named Midori a Messenger of Peace, and in 2012 she received the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum in Davos. In 2019 she was invited to attend the annual meeting of the United Nation’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, where she performed for and addresses Pope Francis and other world leaders, calling on them to believe in the transformative power of women and girls in underserved remote communities. The same year, the Carnegie Corporation of New York honoured Midori, a naturalized American citizen, with its “Great Immigrant” award in recognition of her work as a global cultural ambassador.

The same vision that motivates Midori’s activism also guides her educational approach. Since Autumn 2018, she has been part of the renowned violin faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music, bringing her musical expertise as an active top-level performer to her studio and her experience as an activist to the school’s community engagement programmes. In October 2019, she was appointed to the school’s Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies.

Until May 2018, Midori held the Jascha Heifetz Chair as a Distinguished Professor at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where she taught for 14 years. She continues her involvement at USC in a visiting artist role as Judge Widney Professor of Music. She is also a distinguished visiting artist and violin faculty member at the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University.

Midori is an honorary professor at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music and a guest professor at both Soai University in Osaka and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In addition, she teaches regularly at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and the Weimar Meisterkurse. Her own degrees in gender studies and psychology from New York University (BA 2000, MA 2005) strongly inform her holistic teaching philosophy: “In our studio, the tenets of Honesty, Health, and Dignity guide us through the times of trial, self-doubt, self-questioning, and growth.”

Midori was born in Osaka, Japan in 1971 and began her violin studies with her mother Setsu Goto, after displaying a strong aptitude for music 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. The standing ovation that followed her debut spurred Midori to pursue a major musical career at the highest level.

Midori plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù ‘ex-Huberman’. She uses four bows – two by Dominique Peccatte, one by François Peccatte and one by Paul Siefried.

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