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Partners in Performance was founded with the monetary award that Midori received as part of the coveted Avery Fisher Prize in 2001. Initiated in the wake of Arts Council funding cutbacks across the United States, Partners in Performance aims to stimulate local interest in recitals and chamber music, specifically in smaller outlying communities without the financial resources of major urban centers, and to support classical music presenters in these communities by offering affordable concerts by major artists. Through Partners in Performance, high profile artistsóincluding Midoriócan donate their services for concerts to galvanize community attention and offer support to smaller-scale arts presenters.

Applications are reviewed annually by a small committee. Budget and geography factor into, but do not dictate, the selection process, as do ideas for how the applicant intends to use profits from the PiP concerts. The local presenter undertakes to pay a processing fee of $2500 to PiP and to cover locally-incurred costs directly related to the presentation, such as hall and piano rental and program printing. For this one-time fee, Partners in Performance will co-sponsor two (2) concerts at the venue within consecutive concert seasons: the first, a recital by a high-profile artist such as Midori; the second concert to be a solo or duo recital by (a) rising young artist(s) selected by PiP.

The presenter keeps all proceeds from ticket sales, to be used at its discretion to fund projects, programs or equipment. In addition, the presenter is strongly encouraged to apply for grants and sponsorships in connection with the PiP concert, to stimulate further funding. An essential element of Partners in Performance is the opportunity for the artists to engage with the audience after the performance and with interested parties in the community. This can take the form of a question and answer session, an open interview or a reception following the concert.