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Sir Andrew Davis
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South Wales Argus
Midori to Receive Prestigious Kennedy Center Gold Medal in the Arts
Since her debut at the age of 11 with the New York Philharmonic over 25 years ago, the violinist Midori 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. Named a Messenger of Peace by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, she has created a new model for young artists who seek to balance the joys and demands of a performing career at the highest level with a hands-on investment in the power of music to change lives. 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 US), also bring music into the lives of people who may not otherwise have involvement with the arts. Her commitment to community collaboration and outreach extends beyond these foundations to her work with young violinists in master classes all over the world, to her Orchestra Residencies Program, and to her positions as Jascha Heifetz Chair and Chair of the Strings Department at USC’s Thornton School of Music. In the 2010-2011 season Midori will conduct community engagement initiatives in New York, Tennessee, Maine, Iowa, Laos, and Bulgaria.
The Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts was established in 2001 to promote international arts exchange and strengthen the Kennedy Center’s international initiatives. Members of the KCICA will convene from 23-28 May for their annual Summit, taking place this year in Tokyo.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy and is the nation’s cultural center, presenting more than 2,000 performances each year. Opened in 1971, the Center stages theater, dance, symphonic, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music. In addition to its wide-ranging performance schedule, the Center offers the largest arts education program in the world, with work reaching over 16 million people in more than 60 countries spanning six continents.