A Brief Chat with Classical Superstar Midori
Violinist Midori solos with the Virginia Symphony this weekend. Veer correspondent Montague Gammon III conducted an email interview with her, as a follow up to the preview of the concert which appeared in the September issue of Veer.
Montague: Your accomplishments in many areas are numerous and well known. Indeed, you are known for the breadth and number of areas in which you are accomplished. I would like to concentrate only on what you have achieved as a performer of classical music. Within that realm of the concert hall, which of your accomplishments are you most proud of or pleased with? For what would you most like to be known?
Midori: Thank you for your kind words. I am grateful for being able to do all I get to do, which keeps my life so interesting and motivating. My various projects stimulate each other, and I am inspired being involved in each of them.
Montague: What about the Brahms Violin Concerto especially appeals to you? What, beyond familiar commentary on the piece, would you want an audience to know about it before they hear you play it, or want them to think about after they have heard it?
Midori: It is difficult to say what makes the Brahms great. If the answer can easily be given, then it would mean that the work is not so great! This work provides a unique combination of musical sophistication, technical challenges, and physical stamina requirements. It is a powerful and beautiful piece, and one that is intensely varied in its deep and personal emotions.
Montague: Is or are there any composition(s) that you have never or rarely played publicly that you would like to add to your repertoire, and what gives that or those work(s) particular interest?
Midori: I am always intrigued to learn new pieces as well as to re-examine works that I have played many times. The “new” pieces at this point are generally modern compositions. To be able to play a brand new composition, to imbue life into the work is a fascinating process. Whether through commissioning or learning works that have been recently created, it gives me much pleasure to learn and to perform them.
Montague: If you feel comfortable speaking about what it is like work with JoAnn Falletta, I would be pleased to hear what you say.
Midori: Of course I feel comfortable talking about JoAnn as I love working with her! We have collaborated on a number of occasions, in Virginia, Buffalo, etc. It is hard to explain, but she gives both freedom and confidence to the soloist. Also, I respect her as a musician, and her input and ideas are valued at all times. By exchanging ideas, I have a chance to hone in even further on any musical interpretation.
Virginia Symphony Orchestra Opening Night with Midori
September 20, Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News
September 21, Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
September 22, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach www.virginiasymphony.org