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Darwin Shen: Bio

Violinist, Darwin Shen has been performing as a soloist in concert halls and with ensembles and orchestras all over the United States for over twenty years.  Although he continues to perform much of the standard violin repertoire of concertos, sonatas and short pieces, in recent years he has specialized in resurrecting lost or rarely performed works of the late 19thand early 20th centuries.  He has been sought after by other artists and musicians as an expert in these works, and his most recent projects in this area have been published online.

 

Most recently, Darwin reconstructed the 1940’s Heifetz arrangement of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and rare pieces by Leopold Auer and John Crowther, and published his work online in video format.  All were highlighted by violinist.com.  Darwin is currently working on a number of similar projects.

 

In addition to his performance schedule, Darwin maintains a teaching studio for pre-college students in the New York metropolitan area.  His students have gone on to study at many of the major music conservatories and colleges in the United States.  Darwin is also the founder and executive director of the Violin Audition Prep Program, an annual, intensive program which is designed to teach young musicians how to approach and perform in auditions of all types, including for college and conservatory admissions and orchestra placements.  He also works with student orchestras and school music programs as a guest teacher, helping students work through intensive rehearsals or difficult pieces.

 

Darwin performs on various instruments depending on the genre and instrumentation of the performance.  His main concert instrument is a Honore Derazey circa 1870.  An ardent supporter of modern instrument makers, Darwin also performs on instruments by Robert Isley and Kenneth Beckman amongst others.

 

Darwin studied violin with Paul Kantor, Kyung Yu and Yuval Waldman.  He also has a BA degree in History from Manhattanville College.

REPERTOIRE LIST 

Unaccompanied works

Bach Six Sonatas and Partitas

Bartok Solo Sonata

Ernst Last Rose of Summer

Paganini 24 Caprices

Paganini Duo Merveille

Paganini Nel Cor Piu Non Mi sento

Schubert Ernst Erlkonig

Ysayse Sonatas Ballade and Obsession

 

Works with orchestra

Bach Concerto A minor, no. 1, BWV 1041

Concerto E major, no. 2, BWV 1042

Double Concerto D minor, BWV 1043

Barber Violin Concerto

Bartok Violin Concerto No 2

Beethoven Violin Concerto D major, op. 61

Brahms Violin Concerto D major, Op. 77

Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in g minor Op. 26

Chausson Poeme, Op 25

Dvorak Violin Concerto

Dvorak Romance

Glazunov Concerto in a minor, Op. 82

Kreisler Concerto in the Style of Vivaldi

Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, Op. 21

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in e minor

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in d minor

Mozart Violin Concerto 1-5

Paganini Violin Concerto No 1 and 2

Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 1 and 2

Ravel Tzigane

Saint Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso

Saint Saens Havanaise

Sarasate Carmen Fantasy

Sarasate Zigeunerweisen

Sibelius Violin Concerto

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No 5

Vieuxtemps Yankee Doodle Variations

Vivaldi Four Seasons

Wieniawski Violin Concerto No. 1 and 2

Wieniawski Polonaise in D

Wieniawski Faust Fantasy

Wieniawski Legende

 

Sonatas

Bach 1-6

Beethoven 1 - 10

Brahms 1 -3

Debussy Sonata

Dvorak Sonatina

Faure Violin Sonata No 1

Franck Violin Sonata

Grieg 3rd Violin sonata

Handel Violin Sonata 1 -6

Mendelsohn Violin Sonata (rediscovered by Menuhin)

Mozart various

Paganini Sonata No 12

Prokofiev Sonata Op 94a

Ravel Sonata

Schubert Sonatinas

Schubert Duo

Schubert Fantasia 

Schumann 1 and 2