The violinist is one of five artists to be honoured for her lifetime artistic achievement


Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Midori is among the five artists to be honoured for her lifetime artistic achievement at the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors - postponed from December 2020 to May 2021 due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 49-year-old violinist will be honoured alongside actress, dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter, director and producer Debbie Allen; singer, songwriter, musician, and activist Joan Baez; singer-songwriter Garth Brooks; and actor and writer Dick van Dyke.

‘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 Centre Chairman David M. Rubenstein. ‘Violinist Midori combines graceful precision and expression for performances building connections between art and the human experience.’

On receiving the honour, Midori said: ‘Artists have a singular responsibility, through our work and deeds, to echo and mirror our society and serve its needs. 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.’

Read: ’I’ve always been fascinated about how the mind works’ – Midori

Watch: Midori’s famous string-breaking moment

Read: ‘I go through the process of learning a piece a few times’ – Midori

Reflective of this time in history, the Honors will be celebrated with small, in-person events and re-envisioned virtual tributes. The Honoree medallion ceremony itself will take place at the Kennedy Center with a limited audience. ‘This past year has taught us many things including the need to be flexible and adaptable,’ stated Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter.

This year’s selected Honorees were chosen based on the recommendation of the Centre’s Special Honors Advisory Committee, which is chaired by David Bohnett and includes David M. Rubenstein, Deborah F. Rutter, Michael Lombardo, Cappy McGarr, Daryl Roth, and Shonda Rhimes, along with past Honors recipients and distinguished artists Julie Andrews, Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Judith Jamison, and John Williams.