The other honorees are choreographer and actress Debbie Allen, singer–songwriter and activist Joan Baez, country singer–songwriter Garth Brooks, and actor Dick Van Dyke.
Japanese-born American violin virtuoso Midori performs and records regularly with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, and founded several organizations that bring music and provide music education to underserved populations.
The 2020 Kennedy Center Honors, traditionally held in early December, was postponed until May 2021 due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and hosted a limited audience.
“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 Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “With an international presence for over 35 years, violinist Midori combines graceful precision and expression for performances building connections between art and the human experience”.
The section of the Kennedy Center Honors that is dedicated to Midori will feature remarks by conductor and violinist Gustavo Dudamel, actor, poet, author, and singer John Lithgow; and actor, singer, songwriter, author, and comedian Bette Midler.
Multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform Bach's Prelude from Cello Suite No. 1 and violinists Gil Shaham and Adele Anthony will perform Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, II. Largo.
Hilary Hahn is to perform Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s ‘Symposium’) III: "Eryximachus,” while violinist Randall Goosby will perform Paganini’s Caprice No. 24, "The Body Electric."
Previous recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors include Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, Tennessee Williams, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Oprah Winfrey, Arthur Rubinstein, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Serkin, Eugene Ormandy, Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Milstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, Georg Solti, Jessye Norman, Andre Previn, Placido Domingo, Van Cliburn, Luciano Pavarotti, James Levine, Itzhak Perlman, Joan Sutherland, John Williams, Zubin Mehta, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Leon Fleisher, Seiji Ozawa, and Martha Argerich.