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
'Celebrated: Ariadne Daskalakis' ...the young violinist Ariadne Daskalakis masters the solo violin part with as much dreamlike singing as rhythmic power, and she rises with perfection to stratospheric heights. The public celebrates the soloist with enthusiasm and receives a movement of Bach as an encore.
Beethoven Concerto : Athens State Orchestra : Megaron Concert Hall
"...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."
Violin Concertos by Tartini and Haydn with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra in the Cologne Philharmonic Hall
"Eyecontact with the Virtuoso" Fresh Wind in the Cologne Philharmonie's Series 'Masterworks' ...The orchestra had already made an award-winning quality recording of Tartini Violin Concertos with the fabulous violinist and Cologne Professor Ariadne Daskalakis. They performed Tartini and Haydn in historical tradition without conductor, opting for direct contact between the orchestra and the virtuoso. She resisted heaviness in the carefree passages, and let her violin dance and sparkle its way through the remarkably difficult material.
"Elegance till the last Note." ...Highlights of the richly varied program were the performances of violinist Ariadne Daskalakis. She performed two A-Major concertos by Tartini and Haydn as soloist and leader with lightness, tasteful vibrato and intelligent interaction with the orchestra. She formed the Adagios with feeling and poetry and the fast movements with dream-perfect elegance and energy.
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."
"The highlight of the concert: Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Concerto in the interpretation of the Greek-American violinist Ariadne Daskalakis, who holds a professorship at the Cologne Conservatory. Daskalakis' flourishing violin sound was astoundingly present even in the last 2 rows...The violinist stressed the sonority of the concerto..."
Musical Gems: Palace Concert with Helmut Müller-Brühl and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra
[...] The Concerto in G Major for violin and orchestra, KV 216, was then played by Ariadne Daskalakis, a spirited virtuoso whose intensity reverberated throughout the hall. She imbued the music with an exquisitely mellow sweetness, particularly in the slow movement, where the violin has the melody almost all to itself. [...]
World Premier with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Sian Edwards
"Walter's 'Zeichnung' can be considered . . . a juxtapositioning of orchestra and a solo part. The solo violin (subtly played by Ariadne Daskalakis) is the focal point, embedded in the percussion and interwoven into the orchestra score."
"The solo violin (Ariadne Daskalakis) and the four percussionists (Cologne Percussion Quartet) were woven as lyrical elements into the fabric of the orchestral movement and imbued this finely engraved 'Zeichnung' with contemplative qualities."
Ariadne Daskalakis and the Potsdam Chamber Academy
"The program centred on Tartini's violin concerto in G Major. It was performed masterfully by the young Greek violinist Ariadne Daskalakis, who balanced the sonorities well with the full orchestra. With the acoustics of the concert hall (the Fürstensaal), every register of her violin carried without being shrill in any way, letting the solo part's many runs, double stops, and appogiaturas sparkle effortlessly. She rendered the Andante with great sensitivity and meditative warmth."
"(Daskalakis) executes the flourishing runs with immaculate intonation and stresses the recurring chords of the G Major concerto. Ariadne Daskalakis winds her way expertly through the challenging, virtuosic first and final movements. Especially in the cadenza-like passages... the soloist sparkles with her outstanding technical skills and facility. Daskalakis's sound aesthetic is clearly influenced by historical performance practice. With delicate, graceful sound she chisels her phrases clearly. Lyrical, voluptuous passages - as in Tartini's b minor Concerto - sound totally natural and clear. ...An interesting Rediscovery of Tartini's works in a flawless recording."
Ariadne Daskalakis as Soloist and Leader of Ensemble Oriol Berlin
On April 19, 2002, in the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie:
"Mozart was a consummate master at pulling every kind of trick conceivable. And he showed it in his violin concerto in A Major, KV 219, performed by Ensemble Oriol led by soloist Ariadne Daskalakis in the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie. . . . Absolutely nothing obscured the clarity of her articulation and the consistency of her sound's beautiful, icy timbre. One sensed she was taking a stand against the marzipan Mozart of dime stores and souvenir shops."
Ariadne Daskalakis and the Brünn Philharmonic Orchestra
Violin Concerto no. 5 by W. A. Mozart: "With her convincing artistic maturity, penetrating insight, and impeccable tone, [Ariadne Daskalakis] gave a first-class rendition, seconded by the ensemble's own flawless performance."
Ariadne Daskalakis and the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra under J.-P. Weigle
"Brahms a highlight"
"The first movement of his violin concerto became a homogeneous whole, uniting passion, intellect, and rapture. Ms. Daskalakis possesses the outstanding qualities of the 'diabolic violinist' called for by the frenzy of expression in the exposition and elsewhere. But she also gets the violin to 'sing' with beguiling beauty like the voice of an angel."
"As soloist in the Violin Concerto by Johannes Brahms, the renowned artist impressed especially with her attentiveness and care with double stops and with her impeccable technique in the extremely virtuosic cadenza of the first movement. After the singing moments of the Adagio... followed the famous Hungarian Rondo, where both the soloist and the orchestra sparkled with spirit."
Stefan Lewerenz, Delme Report, 17 September 2000
"The greatest performance was by the soloist, Ariadne Daskalakis, in the Brahms D-Major Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, op. 77. She executed the difficult passages masterfully, cutting an almost capricious figure in the front row next to conductor Jörg-Peter Weigle."
Ariadne Daskalakis and the Radio Orchestra of Südwestdeutscher Rundfunk (SWR) under Michael Luig
"She took Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra no. 3 in G Major, KV 216, and played it with heart and soul. Daskalakis's spirited performance charged the dialogue between soloist and orchestra with the wealth of Mozart's thoughts and emotional depth. She graciously offset the 'lack of virtuosity' in Mozart's score with a near-perfect rendition of the work. Her subtle treatment of the musical substance, her exquisite nuances, and her pure, focused tone made the concerto the highlight of the evening -- to thunderous applause."
Ariadne Daskalakis and the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic Orchestra
"Playing with perfect technique on a wonderful instrument, the Greek violinist Ariadne Daskalakis gave a rousing artistic performance as the soloist [in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E-Minor] with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic orchestra."
REVIEWS OF CHAMBER MUSIC PERFORMANCES
Baroque Music as an Experience: "Selva della Musica Köln" at "Tag des offenen Denkmals" in the Fürstensaal
[...] Ariadne Daskalakis highlighted the warm tone colours of her baroque violin, especially in the lower registers, and captivated the audience with her resonant double stops. The dialogue between the violin and the woodwinds was as light as a feather, with Daskalakis accentuating slightly more than her colleagues. [...]
Festival "Sound Encounters" in Boston - "Best of the season"
"Performances were top-shelf wonderful, among the best heard all season. Festival organizers Carol Rodland and Michael Norsworthy, joined by Ariadne Daskalakis, Scott Kluksdahl and Max Levinson, played as if their very lives depended on it. All aspects of execution - pitch, tone, technique, pacing, interpretation - were flawless, as were chamber interaction and blend."
Three Soloists Open the Four-day "Contours" Music Festival with Superb Concert
"Ariadne Daskalakis . . . chose Maurice Ravel's 'Tzigane' for her concert solo. She interpreted this Gypsy-inspired rhapsody with resounding mellowness, a highly evocative tone, and flawless technique."
"With Artistic Sensitivity and Devotion" -- The Manon Quartet Berlin Opens the Cologne "Feste musicali" Series with Haydn's The Seven Last Words of the Redeemer on the Cross
"The first violinist was spellbinding in her ability to intone both sorrow and consolation, both desolation and a vision of imminent paradise. Her partners (Bernhard Forck, Sebastian Gottschick, and Anna Carewe) also distinguished themselves at every turn. The quartet took Haydn's dynamic extremes to heart, bringing out the light and shadows of the harmonies and showing how individual words become the essence of the music. Their depiction of the earthquake lacked nothing in the way of terror and tumult."
Ariadne Daskalakis and Miri Yampolsky In the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie:
"Unsurpassed ensemble playing, whether they are executing a sudden entry or rendering a subtle line. . . . But perhaps the most beautiful of all is the restrained second movement [of Beethoven's 'Spring Sonata'], in which the wonderful interplay of individually shaped tempi weaves a fabric of precisely balanced lines, with all their hesitations, ideas, and questions. There is not a single empty phrase; everything is discourse. . . . Better chemistry between musicians would be hard to find. . . . With flawless technique in Gabriel Fauré's A-Major Sonata, the two women illustrate the composer's late-romantic world of sound, its soaring, fleeing, longing, trembling, and the inwardness of the Andante."
"Impressive duo [Ariadne Daskalakis, Miri Yampolsky] sweeps away audience on a river of music. . . . It was also here [sonatas by Ravel and Fauré] that the duo showed off the kind of chemistry that practice alone can never achieve on its own. The two traded phrases back and forth with the subtlest of differences. . . . There was a superb crescendo in the final movement of the Fauré, particular, where the violinist, who was leading a chain of alternative phrases, finally gave her all."
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.”
“…newcomers need fear no lack in quality, either in performance or production, and can count on having struck chamber-music gold.”
Dominy Clements - MusicWeb International, April 2009
“Ariadne Daskalakis … draws a honeyed tone from her 1769 Guadagnini violin, subtly colouring the ecstatic moments ... Her playing is technically impeccable and has the necessary impact for Lutoslawski’s Partita…
David Denton – The Strad, July 2009
“The quirky Janáček comes over very nicely in this performance, moulding the whole convincingly structurally…”
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."
"Ariadne Daskalakis winds her way expertly through the challenging, virtuosic first and final movements. Especially in the cadenza-like passages... the soloist sparkles with her outstanding technical skills and facility. ...Lyrical, voluptuous passages - as in Tartini's b minor Concerto - sound totally natural and clear. ...An interesting Rediscovery of Tartini's works in a flawless recording."
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".
KÖLNER KAMMERORCHESTER / HELMUT MÜLLER-BRÜHL
CATALOG NUMBER 8.551243 | EAN-CODE 4891030514324
Great discovery of an almost forgotten Romantic composer:
JOSEPH JOACHIM RAFF
VIOLIN SONATAS NOS. 1,3 & 4
ARIADNE DASKALAKIS & ROGLIT ISHAY
TUDOR RECORDING AG (ZURICH / SWITZERLAND), 2004
CATALOG: TUDOR 7122
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The uniqueness of French Romanticism is presented in this portrait of a composer who set standards for his contemporaries and followers.
L'HORIZON FANTASTIQUE: PIÈCES POUR PIANO ET VIOLON
ARIADNE DASKALAKIS & ROGLIT ISHAY
CARPE DIEM (BERLIN), 2003
CATALOG: CARPE DIEM 16262
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This program begins with light-hearted Baroque dance-music and culminates in the fulminant d minor Partita of J. S. Bach
MATTEIS • BIBER • BALTZAR • CORELLI • J. S. BACH
ARIADNE DASKALAKIS, HELENE LERCH, GABRIELLA STRÜMPEL
TUDOR RECORDING AG (ZURICH / SWITZERLAND), 2000
CATALOG: TUDOR 7041
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A recital with major works from the Classical-Romantic repertoire.
SAINT SAËNS • DEBUSSY • MOZART • BRAHMS
ARIADNE DASKALAKIS & ROGLIT ISHAY
CARPE DIEM RECORDS (BERLIN), 2004
CATALOG: CARPE DIEM 26251
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The 1995 Debut concert, with Masterpieces of the Quartet literature.
PURCELL • MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY • BERG
MANON QUARTETT BERLIN - 1995 - LIVE RECORDING
ARIADNE DASKALAKIS, BERNHARD FORCK, SEBASTIAN GOTTSCHICK, ANNA CAREWE
CATALOG: IPPNW 12
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Further master works, recorded live.
SCHUBERT • PURCELL • JANACEK
MANON QUARTETT BERLIN - 1998 - LIVE RECORDING
ARIADNE DASKALAKIS, BERNHARD FORCK, SEBASTIAN GOTTSCHICK, ANNA CAREWE
CATALOG: IPPNW 31
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