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
...Striking athleticism, musical insight, expressive embellishment and elegiac lyricism.
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.
She led the Manon Quartet Berlin for 10 years and has concertized since 2012 with the Emanuel Piano Trio. She performs regularly as recitalist or, on baroque violin, with her Ensemble Vintage Köln, which recently recorded the complete Rosary Sonatas by Biber for the label BIS. Daskalakis won the International ARD-Munich Competition, the St. Louis Symphony Strings Competition and various other prizes in the USA and Germany from organizations like the Mozart Society Dortmund, the Harvard Music Association and Framingham State University.
Numerous recordings document the unusually broad spectrum of her repertoire and the rich depth of her musical experiences. These include the Complete Violin Sonatas by Handel, Fauré and Raff, Violin Concerti by Tartini and works by Lutoslawski, Janacek and Szymanowski (on the labels Naxos, Carpe Diem and Tudor). Her Handel and Tartini recordings were both Selections of the Month in the The Strad magazine. Ariadne Daskalakis also collaborates with composers, creating new music and genres, like Caspar Johannes Walter’s Violin Concerto Zeichnungen and Christoph Coburger’s “Opera Mono” Herr K und Frau N with video installation.
She enjoyed an education in music and humanities at the Juilliard School, Harvard University and the HdK Berlin. She has specialized in the application of historical performance practice to modern instruments, and is in great demand as a pedagogue and Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne. She has taught as guest at the Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music and various other international institutions and festivals.
In 2012 Ariadne Daskalakis founded “Music from Land’s End,” an international summer chamber music festival in Wareham, Massachusetts. She also led the International Chamber Music Week at Palazzo Ricci in Montepulciano, Italy as Artistic Director in 2012 and 2013.
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
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.
PERFORMANCES WITH ORCHESTRA:
Bernstein Serenade : Philharmonic Orchestra Hahen : Stadthalle Hagen
...Ariadne Daskalakis, youngest Violin Professor in Cologne since 2000, was brilliant as the soloist. It was wonderful how she expressed enraptured intimacy in her playing. In the last movement 'typical Bernstein' flared up: jazz-influenced passion with rhythmic percussion episodes.
Christoph Bingel, Westfälische Rundschau, February 12 2009
Monika Willer, Westfalenpost, February 12, 2009
"...The first half of the concert was dominated by Beethoven's Violin Concerto, performed by Ariadne Daskalakis. Her sound was powerful and confident. The structural unity of the concerto was performed with clarity... The middle movement was performed with delicacy and sensitivity. Daskalakis' clear, round and tonally secure sound was especially appreciated. In the third movement... the violinist showed power and expression and concluded the concerto with success."
Nikos Dontas, Kathimerini, January 18, 2009
Violin Concertos by Tartini and Haydn with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra in the Cologne Philharmonic Hall
MK, Cologne Stadtanzeiger, December 12, 2008
Matthias Corvin, Cologne Rundschau, December 9, 2008
Beethoven Violin Concerto: Polish Chamber Philharmonic, Cond. Wojciech Rajski
"The highlight was Ludwig van Beethoven's famous Violin Concerto… [Ariadne Daskalakis] unfolded a soulful, intimate, melting tone, of which the bewitching beauty commanded the listeners' attention in spite of the open-air conditions... Ariadne Daskalakis came out strong with commanding form in the Rondo, an energetic movement which enchants with its voluptuously intoxicating sounds."
Hanna Styrie, Kölner Rundschau, 20. August 2007
Frank-Uwe Orbons, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 20. August 2007
Musical Gems: Palace Concert with Helmut Müller-Brühl and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Rhein-Erft-Rundschau, 13 June 2006
Dorothea Husslein, Münchner Merkur, 14 June 2004
Rüdiger Schwarz, Abendzeitung München, 14 June 2004
Nikolaus Frey, Fuldaer Zeitung, 7 April 2004
Antje Hintz, NDR (North German Radio), January 2006
Jan Brachmann, Berliner Zeitung, 22 April 2002
Coesfelder Nachrichten, 27 November 2001
Delmenhorster Kurier, 15 September 2000
Delmenhorster Kreisblatt, 15 September 2000
MRZ, 29 August 2000
Lippische Landeszeitung, May 2000
REVIEWS OF CHAMBER MUSIC PERFORMANCES
Oberhessische Press, September 2006
(David Cleary, "new music connoisseur", June 2006)
Hanna Styrie, Rhein-Erft-Kreis Kurier, 5 January 2004
Emka Pirbauer, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 22 April 2003
Berliner Zeitung, December 1999
The Globe and Mail Toronto, February 1999
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.
Ariadne Daskalakis' previous CD release is with pianist Miri Yampolsky and features the complete works for violin and piano by Lutoslawski. This CD is recorded on the Naxos label and also includes works by Szymanowski and Janacek.
“…I warm to the polish in the playing and dynamic drama and tensions between passion and restraint, songful lyricism, playfulness and fervour.”
Dominy Clements - MusicWeb International, April 2009
David Denton – The Strad, July 2009
Guy Rickards – Gramophone, August 2009
"The ending, with its last few wisps of sound, is one of the most amazing things I have heard in ages. What a treat for the ears this album is!"
The American Record Guide, July 2009
LUTOSLAWSKI, W.: Violin Music (Complete)
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Myths
JANACEK, L: Violin Sonata
Ariadne Daskalakis, Miri Yampolsky
CATALOGUE No: 8.570987 | EAN-CODE: 0747313098774
"Daskalakis brings to these works striking athleticism, musical insight, expressive embellishment and elegiac lyricism."
Robin Stowell – theStrad
Antje Hintz, NDR (North German Radio), Januar 2006
This CD featured as the Naxos CD of the month on it’s release in Germany and, when released world wide, as the Concerto selection of the month in the June 2007 edition of "The Strad".
Further master works, recorded live.