Music: Child’s Play

Violinist Midori makes her debut with the Marin Symphony

“Everything I have experienced—whether I am conscious of it or not—has [had] an impact on me as a person,” violinist Midori says. Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

By Stephanie Powell

Studying at Juilliard’s Pre-College program and debuting at the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age 11, violinist Midori Goto’s trajectory redefined “child prodigy.”

The powerhouse violinist will make her debut with the Marin Symphony with two performances on January 27 and 28. The program includes contemporary composer wunderkind Mason Bates’ “Devil’s Radio,” Britten’s Violin Concerto and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra.

“In any program, it is always interesting and intriguing to have a balance of contrast and cohesiveness,” Midori says. “This sometimes means compositions coming from different times, as well as styles, lengths and character.”

Although Midori will be performing as the soloist in Britten’s demanding piece, the reason behind her Marin debut hits closer to home—she will be kicking off a weeklong residency with the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra (MSYO).

In 2004, Midori founded her Orchestra Residencies Program, an initiative aimed at providing the next generation of classical musicians greater access to the arts. This year, the program has announced MSYO as the sole recipient of her residency program—an honor that Marin Symphony Music Director Alasdair Neale calls “a real testament to the regard of the organization.”

“Each [residency program] is unique and memorable,” Midori says. “I enjoy working with young musicians—they always inspire me with much energy.”

As for her Marin debut, Midori says, “I am very excited to [come]. I have been to San Francisco a number of times, as well as other cities and communities in the Bay Area. The region is so beautiful, and I always feel a special energy there.”

Midori performs with the Marin Symphony on Jan. 27-28 at the Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael; 415/473-6800;

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