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Midori and Robert McDonald



The violinist Midori made her historic debut at the age of 11 when she was introduced as a surprise guest artist by conductor Zubin Mehta at the New York Philharmonic's annual New Year's Eve concert in 1982. Since that night over 20 years ago, she has established a record of achievement which sets her apart as a master musician, an innovator, and a champion of the developmental potential of children.

Midori's performing schedule is balanced between recitals, chamber music performances and appearances with the world's most prestigious orchestras. Highlights of her 2004-05 season include appearances at the Tanglewood, Cape Cod Chamber Music, Sun Valley, and Bath Festivals; six recital tours throughout the season, to the U.S., Europe, and Asia; and concerto appearances throughout Europe and the U.S. Among the conductors with whom Midori will collaborate in the 2004-05 season are Alan Gilbert, Pinchas Zukerman, Leonard Slatkin, Stephane Dénève, and Ingo Metzmacher.

In 1992 Midori founded Midori & Friends, a non-profit organization in New York which brings music education programs to thousands of underprivileged children each year. Two other organizations, Music Sharing, based in Japan, and Partners in Performance, based in the U.S., also bring music closer to the lives of people who may not otherwise have involvement with the arts. Her commitment to community collaboration and outreach extends beyond these organizations to her work with young violinists in master classes all over the world, to her University Residencies Program, and to her positions on the violin faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and as Jascha Heifetz Chair at USC's Thornton School of Music

American pianist Robert McDonald has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the Far East as a renowned solo recitalist and an esteemed recital partner. He has performed with Isaac Stern, Midori, and numerous other artists and has taken stage as soloist with the San Francisco, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Omaha, and Curtis symphony orchestras. He has also appeared with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Costa Rica, and with the Orchestra Sinfonica Haydn di Bolzano e Trento in Italy. Mr. McDonald is an active chamber musician, and has collaborated with the Juilliard, American, Muir, Takács, Brentano, Fine Arts, Orlando, and Chicago quartets, as well as with Musicians from Marlboro on several of its tours.

Mr. McDonald is on the piano faculty at The Juilliard School and gives classes during the year at the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. For the past twenty-one summers, he has been director of the keyboard program at the Taos School of Music and Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico. Other summer teaching and festival activities have taken him to the Bergen, Besançon, Lucerne, Montreux, Salzburg, Aldeburgh, and Schleswig-Holstein festivals in Europe, as well as the Marlboro, Brevard, and Caramoor festivals in the United States and the International School for Musical Arts in Canada.

Among Mr. McDonald's numerous awards, grants, and prizes are the Gold Medal at the Busoni International Piano Competition in Italy and top prizes at both the William Kapell International Competition and the Washington International Competition. He is also the recipient of the National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Grant.

After graduating magna cum laude from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, Robert McDonald continued his education at the Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music. He has studied with Theodore Rehl, Seymour Lipkin, Rudolf Serkin, Mieczyslaw Horszowksi, Beveridge Webster, and Gary Graffman.

Robert McDonald has recorded for the Sony Classical and Vox labels with Midori, Isaac Stern, and Elmar Oliveira. He has also recorded for the Bridge, Musical Heritage Society, and CRI labels, as well as for the British label ASV with violist Helen Callus.