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Violinist Midori to Receive Kennedy Center Honor

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington D.C., announced the five honorees to receive the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors for their lifetime artistic achievements

The other honorees include choreographer and actress Debbie Allen, singer–songwriter and activist Joan Baez, country singer–songwriter Garth Brooks, and actor Dick Van Dyke.

Japanese-born American violin virtuoso, Midori, performs and records regularly with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors — and serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music.

The 2020 Kennedy Center Honors, traditionally held in early December, was postponed until May 2021 due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Honoree medallion ceremony will be hosted for a limited audience by the Kennedy Center during the week of May 17–22nd. The gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Network for the 43rd consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on June 6th, 2021.

“The Kennedy Center Honors serves as a moment to celebrate the remarkable artists who have spent their lives elevating the cultural history of our nation and world,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “Violinist Midori combines graceful precision and expression for performances building connections between art and the human experience."

"Artists have a singular responsibility, through our work and deeds, to echo and mirror our society and serve its needs," Midori said. "As a new chapter of life is about to begin for all of us, I especially feel the current moment’s necessities and opportunities to explore a spring of new and preserved energies and discoveries, to play my part in seeking various avenues and forms of creativity and recovery. From an early age, I have been gifted with extraordinary experiences. I consider them to be my treasure and fortune that I might now draw upon. I wish to accomplish much going forward. My plans are to be making music again, in both pioneering and traditional ways, to sing out and to stir what lies within us, to describe mysteries, of the heart and of the mind. So, in the spirit of peace and connectivity through this country and the world, I am thrilled to be a recipient of one of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, as we, together, reach toward renewed expression of the dreams and hopes that unify us all."

Previous recipients include Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, Tennessee Williams, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Oprah Winfrey, Arthur Rubinstein, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Serkin, Eugene Ormandy, Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Milstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, Georg Solti, Jessye Norman, Andre Previn, Placido Domingo, Van Cliburn, Luciano Pavarotti, James Levine, Itzhak Perlman, Joan Sutherland, John Williams, Zubin Mehta, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Leon Fleisher, Seiji Ozawa, and Martha Argerich.

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february 2024

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