Midori: Active Listener

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From getting to the core of new works to appreciating her students’ motivations, Midori is on a constant search for understanding. Toby Deller finds out how the Japanese-American violinist communicates this passion to those around her

‘I’ve always enjoyed Detlev’s works,’ explains Midori over Skype from the US. ‘Last summer I had the opportunity to hear one of the first performances of his new opera in Berlin. Oceane is based on the story of a misunderstood woman, a highly discussed topic these days. Unheard; misunderstood; it can be seen from many different perspectives. That’s always an interesting thing about literature.’ The opera is based on the 19th-century German writer Theodor Fontane’s unfinished novella Oceane von Parceval, which depicts a patriarchal society’s alienation of an unconventional woman. Midori also recognises the voice of Glanert’s protagonist in the ecstatically lyrical violin part of the new concerto – suggesting a thematic connection between the pieces. ‘I find it interesting that Detlev has been inspired or stimulated by plots about either the unheard or the unseen woman,’ she says…

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