Friday, September 21, 2007

Piece out

This is most wonderful!

Midori Honored by U.N.

Violinist Midori has been officially designated a Messenger of Peace by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations. The announcement of her appointment is timed to coincide with the annual International Day of Peace (21 September 2007). The Messengers of Peace is a program instituted by Kofi Annan, the previous Secretary General of the United Nations, intended to promulgate the goals and ideals of the United Nations by partnering with prominent individuals who have an established and demonstrated commitment to those goals and ideals in their professional and private lives. In Midori’s case, her activism in behalf of children and communities with limited access to music began when she founded Midori & Friends 15 years ago. Since that time Midori & Friends has brought music into the lives of 140,000 underprivileged young people in New York City. Midori founded a similar organization, Music Sharing, in Japan. Music Sharing reaches out to children in institutions, hospitals, and outlying areas with limited access to music in Japan, and, most recently, Vietnam and (in December 2007) Cambodia. Three other organizations – Partners in Performance, University Residencies Program, and Orchestra Residencies Program – have been established in the U.S. The goal of all these organizations is to provide access to music for young people (both musicians and non-musicians), and residents of small communities who rarely have the opportunity to learn about or even hear music as a part of their daily routine. At the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where Midori holds the prestigious Jascha Heifetz Chair and has recently been named Chair of the Strings Department, Midori has also founded the Midori Center for Community Engagement, whose purpose it is to teach young musicians how to craft effective community engagement initiatives in their own lives and careers.

A statement issued today by the United Nations says, “When considering Midori for this designation, the Secretary-General said he was convinced that she would be a compassionate and creative Messenger of Peace given the tremendous contributions she has made through Midori & Friends and her other organizations. He commended her for inspiring young people through music, and for utilizing music education as a compelling way to build a sense of community. As a Messenger of Peace Midori will help to promote the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals and build upon her commitment to youth.”

Midori says “I am very pleased to have been invited by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to become a United Nations Messenger of Peace This is an opportunity to champion the United Nations' Millennium goals in a meaningful way. I look forward to being an advocate for the cause, working both through my own community engagement organizations and in collaboration with United Nations programs.”

For more information about Midori call 831-620-1332 and visit these sites:;;;; and

Photo of Midori & John Clare by Andrew Gena.

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