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Born in Japan, Midori has become an internationally renowned violinist. She has built her music career around two instruments, the 1772 "Jupiter" Stradivarius and the 1735 Guarnerius del Gesu. Midori has won numerous musical and humanitarian awards and played in several orchestras and ensembles in Japan, Europe and North America. Midori has used her musical talents to help expose children in the United States and Japan to classical music and the arts. Midori began studying the violin at an early age with her mother. Her passion and determination to learn the instrument led to her being heard by Zubin Mehta in 1982. He was so impressed that he invited her to perform in the New York's Philharmonic New Year's Eve concert. Midori received a standing ovation and has since built an impressive musical career. Since her debut at the New Year's Eve concert, her appearances have included the Berlin Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. She has collaborated with such musical greats as Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Isaac Stern, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Pinchas Zuckerman. Midori has an exclusive contract with Sony Classical. She has recorded several live releases with Zubin Mehta and his orchestras, including Dvorak Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic, two Bartok Violin Concertos with the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Israel Philharmonic. In October 1990, Sony recorded her Carnegie Hall debut on both audio and video. Besides playing with some of the most famous orchestras and symphonies in the world, Midori also devotes her time and talents to a non-profit organization she founded in an effort to bring the arts to children who otherwise might not be exposed to it. Her foundation provides for concerts in schools and hospitals throughout the United States and Japan. Both her charity work and musical talents have won her several awards throughout her career. In 1991, she was one of the first to be awarded New York State's Asian-American Heritage Month Award, and in 1990 she won the Los Angeles Music Center's Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award. The Japanese government rewarded her talents with the Best Artist of the Year Award in 1988 and Japan's Crystal Award for contribution to the arts. ~ Kim Summers

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