Master Violinist Midori Performing With Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra Feb. 28 / March 1

Master violinist Midori will give two performances with the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra. Courtesy photo


The Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra (SFPMO) presents a must-see concert featuring super star violinist Midori. The concert opens with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93, followed by Musica Celestis by Aaron Kernis. For the grand finale, Midori takes to the stage to perform Schumann’s Violin Concerto in D Minor.

There will be two performances, 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 1 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20, $35, $45, $65 at the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office 505.988.4640. Tickets Santa Fe at The Lensic 505.988.1234 or online at

Meet the Music one hour before each concert. Learn more about the music you love!

Thomas O’Connor, Santa Fe Pro Musica Conductor and Music Director, will present a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music one hour Meet the Music one hour before each concert. Free to ticket holders.

A Special dinner with Midori at Restaurant Martín will take place 5:30 p.m. March 1 Tickets are $150. Reservations are required.

Midori is an extraordinary violinist, a devoted and gifted educator, and an innovative community activist. She presents a new model for artists who seek to balance the joys and demands of a performing career with hands-on investments in the power of music to change lives. Midori has maintained an international presence for almost three decades, performing about 100 concerts a year, leading varied community and charitable projects, and serving as Chair of the Strings Department and Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

Performing as Midori (first name only), she has spent her life before the public in virtually every major international capital and cultural center. Her performing schedule is balanced between recitals, chamber music, and appearances with the world’s great orchestras. Her expansive discography culminates most recently in The Essential Midori, a compilation issued by Sony Masterworks.

Working as Midori Goto (full name), she has founded a series of successful non-profit organizations and youth-directed projects. Midori and Friends, created in New York City in 1992, brings musical education to underprivileged children in partnership with the city’s public schools.

Partners in Performance, based in the U.S., and Music Sharing, formed in Japan, brings music making to smaller communities that are typically underserved by the arts. In recognition of such activities, the U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, named Midori a “Messenger of Peace” in 2007.

The Program:

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93

Beethoven completed his 7th and 8th symphonies in quick succession in the spring and summer of 1812. Although his life was laden with difficulties (money, work, romance, family and health), 1812 was an especially hard year. He was involved in a love affair, probably with a married woman, and unleashed his despair in the famous “Immortal Beloved” letter. He then fled to the home of his brother Johann who threw him out after getting too much unsolicited advice about his choice of wife. And, finally, Beethoven realized he was truly and irrevocably deaf. And what evidence for all this turmoil is there in his Symphony No. 8?  None at all! It is full of good cheer, musical jokes and lebensfreude.

Aaron Jay Kernis (b. 1960)

Musica Celestis

Kernis is an award winning American composer, winning three BMI Foundation Composer Awards, the Grawemeyer Award (2002), a Pulitzer Prize (1998), and a Grammy nomination. He is currently on the Yale School of Music faculty.

Kernis writes that his Musica Celestis was inspired by the medieval title’s reference to heavenly angels singing praises of God. Musica Celestis, originating as a movement of his first string quartet (1990), was arranged for string orchestra a year later. Kernis’ music follows a simple, spacious melodic and harmonic pattern through a number of variations, and is framed by an introduction and coda. It begins very quietly, builds to an intense and impassioned climax, and subsides to a quiet conclusion.

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Violin Concerto in D Minor, WoO 23

“Although it is difficult to characterize succinctly Schumann’s large and varied output, it is fair to say that Romantic reverie, mercurial caprice, solemn grandeur, and ecstatic effusion all have their place in it” (Paul Schiavo, Seattle Symphony Orchestra).

Schumann wrote his only violin concerto late in 1853, his last major work, and intended it for Joseph Joachim, one of the 19th century’s greatest violinists. Joachim played through the concerto for Schumann at an orchestra rehearsal, but never performed it.

In 1907, after Joachim’s death, the concerto was given to the Prussian State Library. Here it remained forgotten until 1937 when the Hungarian violinist Jelli d’Aranyi (1893-1966) claimed to have contacted Schumann’s spirit and was told the concerto’s whereabouts. Only now, more than 150 years later, Schumann’s Violin Concerto has entered the standard violin repertory and is recognized as one of his most moving works.

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