Peabody Johns Hopkins University Magazine

Midori and Eric Owens: Distinguished Visiting Artists 

Midori and Eric Owens: Distinguished Visiting Artists 

Violinist Midori is recognized worldwide as one of the legendary violinists of our times, an extraordinary performer, a gifted educator, and an innovative community engagement activist.

Opera star Eric Owens is critically acclaimed as “one of the greatest bass-baritones in the world” (Bloomberg News) and “an American marvel” (Chicago Sun-Times).

Both luminaries in the world of performing professional musicians, this fall, they share something else in common. Both are serving as distinguished visiting artists at Peabody for the 2016–17 academic year, visiting campus to work with students multiple times throughout the year.

“The opportunity to be exposed to and learn from artists of the caliber of Midori and Eric Owens has a visceral and immediate impact on our students’ experiences at Peabody and in their careers,” says Peabody Dean Fred Bronstein. “The daily interactions with our outstanding faculty form the foundation of high-level training here at Peabody, which is further enhanced when we can bring in world-renowned performing artists who also have unique perspectives on what it takes to build a successful, multifaceted, 21st-century musical career.”

Headshot of MidoriMidori, who made her now-legendary debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 11, now serves as distinguished professor and Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Among the social and educational initiatives she has founded are Music Sharing, based in Japan; Partners in Performance, based in the U.S.; and Midori & Friends, a nonprofit organization that brings music education programs to underserved New York City schoolchildren. At Peabody, she will conduct master classes
at both the Conservatory and the Preparatory, and deliver interdisciplinary presentations to other Johns Hopkins academic divisions.

Headshot of Eric OwensMr. Owens will coach voice students and lead master classes during 10 days on campus over multiple visits. Currently the Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence for the New York Philharmonic, he has established a reputation as both an esteemed interpreter of classic works and a champion of new music. A frequent guest soloist with leading orchestras, he also serves as a community ambassador for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and works regularly with students at the Chicago High School for the Arts and other schools there.

“It is truly an honor to have Eric Owens as a distinguished visiting artist because he will have great insight about the operatic profession today,” noted Jacob Bowman, a voice student entering his junior year in Stanley Cornett’s studio.

But you don’t have to be a student to take advantage of these special learning opportunities. Master classes led by faculty and visiting artists at Peabody are always free and open to the public.

— Tiffany Lundquist