The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra welcomes one of the season's most renown guest artists this week, Midori. The Japanese-American violinist will perform Schumann’s Violin Concerto in concerts with the ASO in Symphony Hall at 8 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday in Athens at the UGA Performing Arts Center's Hodgson Concert Hall.
ASO music director Robert Spano returns to lead the ASO for the first time this year. Also on the program: Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wagner’s Prelude and “Good Friday Spell” from Parsifal and the Prelude to Act One of Die Meistersinger.
Former child prodigy Midori debuted with the New York Philharmonic at age 11. Today, her New York-based nonprofit Midori & Friends brings music education programs to thousands of underserved children each year.
A message to fans right before the holidays on her official site found the violinist in a reflective mood, including this passage: "Music making has formed the core of my life. Caught up in life's whirlwind, I study and explore music, while realizing that it can be so easy, at times, to merely go through my paces, following convention. While I pay attention to the surface details, I must remember that there is something more, the force of real life, animating so many markings on a page. Where are the paths before me where I can discover the kinds of connections that can foster deep personal bonds between music and our world? ...
"My goal is to explore my richest connections with all the world's offerings. I find that when I delve into my repertoire, if I do so honestly, I am also engaging with life, forging my own unique way through this world, sharing music, its beauties and insights, with so many fellow travelers."
Atlanta tickets: $29-$104. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-5000, atlantasymphony.org.
Athens: $25- $67. 230 River Road, Athens. 1-888-289-8497, pac.uga.edu.