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About the Program

“Perhaps no other artist of our time has had a more profound impact on the development of string musicians and audiences throughout the world. Her supreme musicianship, inspirational commitment to excellence, and tireless advocacy for her chosen art form make this a must-see experience for all music lovers.”

– Douglas H. Wheeler
Washington Performing Arts President Emeritus

In 2020, Washington Performing Arts named celebrated violinist, educator, and 2021 Kennedy Center Honoree Midori as the recipient of its Ambassador of the Arts Award. The accolade recognizes extraordinary achievement, service, and advocacy in the performing arts. In celebrating these awardees each year, Washington Performing Arts produces programs that showcase their talents but also highlight an important aspect of their artistry and work. Premiering Wednesday, July 21 at 7:30pm ET, Midori’s program will feature performances, a masterclass, and a panel discussion spotlighting Midori’s nonprofit music advocacy organization, Partners in Performance (PiP), which she founded in 2003 to engage chamber music presenters across the country and to increase community interest in classical music.

Midori’s performances—recorded exclusively for Washington Performing Arts—of solo works by two composer-violinists: the late Fritz Kreisler and contemporary American composer Jessie Montgomery. The program continues with footage from a masterclass in which Midori instructs past Washington Performing Arts Feder String Competition winner, Miyabi Henriksen (17). The performance and education segments will be followed by a panel discussion with two PiP presenters, Lance Ozier of Music in Corrales and Sandra Nikolajevs of Chamber Music Charleston, covering their continued work in the program and with Midori as well as their pivot into virtual programming during the pandemic. This conversation will be moderated by Washington Performing Arts President and CEO Jenny Bilfield.

Washington Performing Arts and Midori:
Washington Performing Arts first presented Midori on our series in 1988. As one of the most gifted and popular artists of her generation, she has returned many times to grace our concert stages and conduct master classes for the next generation of artists. She has performed at our Annual Gala and donated her services for the Gala auction, both of which helped raise critical funds for our artistic and educational programs.

Midori with Doug Wheeler and David Lloyd Kreeger

Midori with Doug Wheeler and Businessman, Philanthropist, and former Board Member David Lloyd Kreeger (c. Late 1980s)
Photographer unknown

Midori performing at our Gala

Midori performing at Washington Performing Arts’s 50th Anniversary Gala honoring Douglas Wheeler (March 2016)
Photo by David Claypool / Kalorama Photography

Midori with Ambassador of the Arts Award

Midori (center-left) holding her Ambassador of the Arts citation and posing with (left to right) arts writer and critic Anne Midgette, Washington Performing Arts Board Chairman Tom Gallagher, past Feder String Competition winner Miyabi Henriksen, Washington Performing Arts President & CEO Jenny Bilfield, and Washington Performing Arts Legacy Society Chairman Stefan Tucker (January 2020)
Photo by David Claypool / Kalorama Photography

About the Ambassador of the Arts Award

Ambassador of the Arts Award - 2020 Citation - Midori

Click to enlarge

Washington Performing Arts’s Ambassador of the Arts Award was created in 2013 to recognize extraordinary achievement, service, and advocacy in the performing arts by any individual. Midori received the award in 2020. Ambassador of the Arts Award recipients since the award was established include:

  • Midori (2020), violinist, educator, and humanitarian
  • Sir James Galway (2019), flutist and educator
  • Lonnie G. Bunch III (2018), educator, historian, and the Founding Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Denyce Graves (2017), mezzo-soprano and educator
  • Jacqueline Badger Mars (2016), business leader and philanthropist
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg† (2015), Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
  • Leon Fleisher† (2014), pianist, conductor, and educator
  • Jessye Norman† (2013), soprano

† deceased

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