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Ariadne Daskalakis

Ariadne Daskalakis

Category: Instrumentalists - Strings

The violin playing of Ariadne Daskalakis is characterised by its pure, warm sound, married to technical brilliance. She is a player that provokes a spine tingling reaction from the first stroke of her bow. The warmth of her playing is mirrored in her character, making her performance generous in a manner that draws the listener right into the soul of the music



Ariadne Daskalakis (violin) by Lundstrom-AM

...Striking athleticism, musical insight, expressive embellishment and elegiac lyricism.

The Strad


A unique violinist, Ariadne Daskalakis is a discerning musician with a profound understanding of musical language and a keen interest in its historical development. The flexibility and warmth of her tone are celebrated internationally by audiences and critics alike.

Critically acclaimed for her stylistic versatility and her unique sound, violinist Ariadne Daskalakis is at home on the international stage, as soloist with orchestras like the Munich BR Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music Berlin, the Kammerakademie Potsdam, the Athens National State Orchestra and the Cologne Sinfonietta. She has further assumed the dual role of leader and soloist in collaboration with the Chamber Orchestras of Stuttgart, Prague and Cologne, the Ensemble Oriol Berlin and the New Rhine Chamber Orchestra. She was hailed by German MDR Radio as a “universal specialist” for her recording of Vivaldi Concerti with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra on the label Tacet.





Benjamin Dunham, Wareham Courier

Land’s End Festival rewards area audience

(Benjamin Dunham is retiring this month as editor of Early Music America magazine. He sent this review to his son Sam, who is doing research in Salzburg, Austria, while attending the Salzburg Festival to hear a complete cycle of symphonies of Anton Bruckner.)

July 27, 2014

Dear Sam:

You may be at the Salzburg Festival to hear Bruckner and I may be here by the shores of Buzzards Bay, but you won’t hear and better concerts in Salzburg than the one I heard Saturday night in Wareham!

The Music from Land’s End festival (aka Ariadne Daskalakis and Friends) concluded in the Church of the Good Shepherd with a brilliant programme constructed and partly arranged by her husband, violist and composer Sebastian Gottschick. It mixed old music and new and made the concoction appealing to all (the program was premiered with equal success the night before at St. Gabriel’s Church in Marion).

Daskalakis is an internationally acclaimed violinist who grew up in Wareham and now teaches in Cologne, Germany. She assembled a string octet of her students, friends and faculty colleagues to play a program called “Crazy Eights!, and although it was a dreamy midsummer’s evening, there was nothing by Mendelssohn to be heard!

The first set interwove works by Gabrieli and Purcell with movements from the Five Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 5 by Anton Webern (1883-1945). The players all seemed to have background in or respect for the principles of historical performance, so they sounded like a well-matched chest of viols in the early music, and their playing of the Webern was, in a word, scintillating. I doubt that Webern’s evocative music has ever been better played in this area (if at all!), and surely never better received by an audience.

The next set was made of three contrasting works, creating an appealing concerto grosso: the scherzo from Louis Spohr’s Double Quartet in D Minor, Op. 65, the andante from Mozart’s Octet in C Minor, K 388, and sections transcribed from Bach’s eight-part motet “Singet dem Herrn”. While this string arrangement was missing the text of the original, you could almost hear the words shouted out as the players kicked into the final rollicking “Alleluias”.

After intermission, three modern works for solo string were mixed with “In Nomines” by Purcell and Givvons. (An “In Nomine” was a popular genre in the Renaissance that used part of a chant from John Taverner’s Missa “Gloria Tibi Trinitas” as a cantus firmus, in the way that jazz players might use a quote from a Broadway hit song to establish he harmonies for their improvisations.) These Purcell and Gibbons works were wonderfully played and acted to clear the palette, like a slice of freshly baked bred, for the complicated bouquet of the recent-vintage wines in between. In “Per Mattia” by Salvatore Sciarrino (b. 1947), violinist Andreia Chang shivered through what seemed like fond and distant memories. In “Nocturne” by Kaija Saariaho (b. 1952), violinist Sini Simonen, a fellow Finn, controlled the searching double-stops and atmospheric harmonics to create the perfect mood. And in “In Nomine all’ongeres” (Hungarian) by György Kurtag (b. 1926), Gottshick skilfully delineated how and why the idea for juxtaposing these In Nomines with modern works might have first come into his head.

The concert concluded with the Dmitri Shostakovish’s Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11. In the Prelude: Adago, Daskalakis positively nailed a recitative-like cadenza at the end of the piu mosso section, rappelling down the fingerboard as if she had studied with Spiderman at The Juilliard School, and the Scherzo, as you can imagine from your own playing of Shostakovish Quartet No. 8, was powerfully slashing of slashingly powerful, take your pick. The audience jumped to their feet in appreciation and demanded two encores.

The word will have to come out: Wareham is to a small internationally significant summer festival. If you’re around next summer, you want to miss it.




Ariadne Daskalakis' latest CD is Handel's Complete Violin Sonatas with Ensemble Vintage Koln, released on the Naxos label.

- CD of the month in The Strad, January 2012:

"Daskalakis makes her violin sing eloquently in the slow movements...her athletic fingers zip through Handel's lively fast movements" - Robin Stowell, The Strad




-"[Daskalakis'] performance seems winningly energetic" - Robert Maxham, Fanfare, March 2012


-"Daskalakis takes their academic understanding of the scores and translate it into informed performances tahat glisten with vibrant, dynamic, effervescent playing" - Mike D. Brownell, allmusic.com, November 2011


-"Daskalakis' performances are far from bland...her left hand is very nimble, decoration added with such deft agility" - David Denton, October 2011


Ensemble Vintage Koln are Ariadne Daskalakis (violin), Rainer Zipperling (viola de gamba/cello) Gerald Hambitzer (harpsichord).

Recorded at Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Main, Germany in 2009, released 2011.

CATALOGUE 8.572245

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