Making Music, Building Futures

Midori & Friends provides transformative tuition-free music education, access to live performances, and leadership development for underserved youth.

For 30 years Midori & Friends, founded by violin virtuoso Midori, has invested in over 300,000 students in NYC by providing tuition-free music education programs. We serve local communities by supporting those arts organizations whose purpose is to develop self-confidence, creativity and ambition in our young people. As it ignites positive social change in the rising generations of students and their families, our dynamic music education programs enrich our city and the individual lives that make it great. We believe that by acting to realize the principles of equity, inclusion, and a strong, diverse population, we help to create an environment of goodwill upon which our city depends if its citizens are to flourish.

Midori & Friends makes the music of today and builds the futures of tomorrow.

The Power of Music

Midori & Friends provides high-quality, sequential music education programs to students in Grades PreK-12 in over 70 NYC schools and organizations who have little or no access to the arts.

What began in 1992 as a renowned artist’s singular vision to bring great music to NYC students, has become a music education leader embraced by a community of thousands. Midori & Friends has reached over 300,000 young people in our history, and yet the impact of our story lies with each individual child.

Midori

Midori is a visionary artist, activist and educator who explores and builds connections between music and the human experience and breaks with traditional boundaries, which makes her one of the most outstanding violinists of our time.  She has performed with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and has collaborated with some of the most outstanding musicians of our time, including Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma, and many others.

As someone deeply committed to furthering humanitarian and educational goals, she has founded several non-profit organizations: the New York City-based Midori & Friends; MUSIC SHARING, based in Japan; Partners in Performance (PiP), which helps to bring chamber music to smaller communities in the U.S.; and the Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP), which supports American youth orchestras. In recognition of her work as an artist and humanitarian, she serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, and in 2021, she was named a Kennedy Center Honoree.

She began her 2021-22 season with the Festival Strings Lucerne and will appear with orchestras in Atlanta, New Mexico, Phoenix, Austin, Kansas City and Palm Beach, in U.S. recitals and on tour throughout Europe and Asia. She will perform Detlev Glanert’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (World Premiere) and with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.

The most recent recording in Midori’s diverse discography is Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and two Romances with the Festival Strings Lucerne (2020, Warner Classics).

Midori was born in Osaka in 1971 and began her violin studies with her mother, Setsu Goto, at an early age. In 1982, conductor Zubin Mehta invited the then 11-year-old Midori to perform with the New York Philharmonic in the orchestra’s annual New Year’s Eve concert. Midori holds academic positions at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Peabody Institute.  She plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù ‘ex-Huberman’ and uses four bows – two by Dominique Peccatte, one by François Peccatte and one by Paul Siefried.

Our team

Larisa Gelman

Larisa Gelman

Executive Director

Thomas A. Cawley

Thomas A. Cawley

Chief Financial Officer

Luz MacManus

Luz MacManus

Development Director

Jacqueline Cannon

Jacqueline Cannon

Marketing and Communications Manager

Maria Del Carmen Rivas

Maria Del Carmen Rivas

Program Associate, Youth Learning & Leadership

Garrett Obrycki

Garrett Obrycki

Program Associate, School & Community Partnerships

Giancarlo Latta

Giancarlo Latta

Program Assistant

Clara Kim

Clara Kim

Program Assistant

Our board

  • Founder & President Emeritus
  • Midori
  • Chair
  • Ron Claiborne
  • Vice Chair & Treasurer
  • Marilyn Cohen
  • Secretary
  • Geeta Sharma, MD
  • Chair Emeriti
  • John D'Addario
  • Alan Fischer
  • Peter Glaser
  • Jill Klinow Jaffee
  • Peter D. Lederer
  • Board of Directors
  • Alan Fischer
  • Laraine Fischer
  • Peter Glaser
  • Daniel C. Goldhagen
  • Setsu Goto
  • Jennifer Hanley
  • Yuka Hashimoto
  • Deanna Landivar-Ruiz
  • Robert Merrell
  • Yukari Saegusa
  • Howard Sendrovitz
  • Marc Richter
  • Elana Slobodien
  • Makiko Tanaka
  • Artistic Advisory Committee
  • Emanuel Ax
  • Yefim Bronfman
  • Regina Carter
  • Paquito D'Rivera
  • Eliot Fisk
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Audra McDonald
  • Zubin Mehta
  • Achinoam
  • Mark O'Connor
  • Dawn Upshaw