Daphne Benichou: Violist, Violinist, Performer, Teacher

 

At the age of two, Daphne began studying violin and piano. As an adult she’s balanced her musical lives: as a violist, and as a teacher of students ranging in age from toddler to young adult.

 

Daphne strives to make each performance the highlight of her career. The words of Pablo Casals strike a chord with her: at age 93, when asked why he continued to practice cello, he replied, “I’m beginning to notice some improvement.” In addition to her current positions in the Maryland Symphony Orchestra (as Assistant Principal Viola) and the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, she’s played in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. Past jobs have also included Assistant Concertmaster of the Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra and Principal Violist of the Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra. Throughout her training and professional years she has also had the great fortune to play under renowned conductors such as Yuri Temirkanov, Gunther Herbert, Marin Alsop, Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim, and Pierre Boulez.

 

As a child her interests were moored in the classical world, but they evolve constantly. Recently her passions have included baroque, as well as folk and modern. She is actively involved with the Handel Choir of Baltimore’s early music series on period instruments under Arian Khaefi, and is the violist for Towson University’s New Music Ensemble under the artistic direction of William Kleinsasser. Recent projects have also included some tracks with a Baltimore-based Hip-Hop artist. Not only are her musical avenues varied, but so are her travels. Her performing career has taken her to various halls around the world in Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Austria, Greece, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

 

Teaching has been a central part of Daphne’s journey as a musician and performer. Trained in the style of Ivan Galamian, her most influential teachers were Peter Slowik, Yizhak Schotten, Steven Shipps and Ronda Cole. Through teaching in the Suzuki method, she continues to learn and refine her own skills. But, more importantly (and perhaps more selfishly), through teaching, she takes part in the transformation that happens when students discover how to express themselves creatively, and accomplish what they didn’t imagine they could. Daphne has run a private studio for more than two decades, and works currently with the Bridges program in Baltimore City, which brings the classical music world to inner-city public school students.

 

Daphne earned her Bachelor of Arts in Ancient Latin and Greek simultaneously with a  Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance at the University of Michigan. She studied at the Meadowmount School of Music during her undergraduate years, and later earned her Master of Music in Viola Performance and Pedagogy at Northwestern University, where she received a two-year fellowship through the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.