Rediscovered Bernstein 

My old teacher once joked that I liked the play the unplayable.  Some others took that to meant that I had a penchant for difficult pieces by Ernst, Paganini or Wieniawski.  While that might have been true when I was in my 20's, I find that reconstructing or resurrecting lost violin pieces is much more my thing.

In this case, I was happy to be involved in the rediscovery of an arrangement made by Leonard Bernstein of "Somehwere" from West Side Story.  The complete story can be found at:


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Top of the Morning to you! 


Happy St Patrick's Day  Here are some videos as well as a link to an article I wrote about the project 
And yes, I put the SHEN in Shenanigans

Happy Holidays! 


Happy Holidays to all and take a gander at this holiday favorite performed and notated by a certain Darwin Shen



My buddies and I put this together for the American Guild of Organists.

you might recognize the violinist


Congratulations Alex Beyer 

Last summer Alex Beyer asked me to play a recital with him.  I did so without hesitation.  It is great pleasure that i can post here a little excerpt and congratulate him on winning Third Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium.  

Some great players have been laureates and I'm sure this is just the start of a brilliant career for him!


Darwin Shen violin sulu-ist... 

every year we try to do something interesting for halloween.  This year we were going to do something by Ennio Morricone but certain logistics made that impossible.  So with only days to spare I leapt into action and came up with the following.  

My inspiration was watching one of those awards shows where William Shatner came out and said his trademark lines and a soprano sang it live 

a new page.... 

yes, I admit that I have been rather lax in my up keep of my webpage.  Frankly, I wonder about people who keep their website up to date.  Could it be that they have OCD?  Could it be that they have so much time that they can spend their time putting up little bits of information that they hope will make people more interested in them?

I will be honest, I have been busy working.  I am indeed fortunate and lucky to be a musician who is in demand. 

2015 however is a new year and I have decided that I am not…

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September 11th 

I will be playing on September 11th and remembering the day 10 years ago when everything changed. 

The weekend after the horrible events I was scheduled to play a church service at Southport Congregational Church.  The pieces I had previously selected were quiet and soulful.  It was just what happened to be on the docket and now ten years later the church has asked me to perform those same pieces again on the 10th anniversary.

I have played them countless times since then and never attached the events to…

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the perils of performing 

For those of you interested:

The Violin Audition Prep Program invites you to a lecture and performance given by Andrew Armstrong and Darwin Shen On August 24th at 12 pm.

Andrew, besides being a very dear friend, is a pianist of some renown.



The lecture will focus on his experiences on the international competition circuit as well as ways to try to get back on track when a performance has come off of the it were.

Andrew and I will end the session with a short performance together.


I started teaching the violin in college.  I don't know if I was a very good teacher back then.  I think my students now would be shocked at how much MORE mean I was back then.  Now I am just much more demanding and sarcastic. 

It is not unusual for me to tell a student that if they really want to kill me, a knife or a gun would be faster than the out of tune playing that they are trying to inflict upon me.  Is that nice?  No not really, but I have a different view of what is needed.  Most of the students…

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