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Violinist, violist, composer, conductor, and educator Darel Stark made his solo debut at age seven. Since then he performed on three continents including performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center and Weill Recital Hall. He is concertmaster of both the Bach Chamber Orchestra and the Early Music Hawaii Orchestra, strings program director at the Honolulu Waldorf School, chamber music coach at the Iolani School, and teaches private violin and viola lessons. At age eighteen he joined the Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra as its youngest member. With the Honolulu Symphony for sixteen years, he was associate principal violin, assistant concertmaster, and acting concertmaster. He is currently associate principal violin of the new Hawaii Symphony. An active chamber musician, recitalist, and soloist with many orchestras, he can be heard on Beauport Classical, Musica Baudino, LCH Records, CBS Masterworks, and SONY Classical. His recording of John Carollo’s Frenetic Unfoldings for solo violin won best classical album at the 2006 Hawaii Music Awards.
Born in New York City, Darel studied violin with Nicole DiCecco, Lazar Gosman and Berl Senofsky. He is a graduate of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. His many accolades include prizes at the Michelangelo Abbado International Competition in Italy and the Tibor Varga International Competition in Switzerland, a TIME Magazine College Achievement Award, two Friedberg Prizes in chamber music from the Peabody Conservatory, and prizes in over a dozen local and national competitions.
A special interest in contemporary music led to premieres of numerous solo and chamber music works and he worked with many important composers including Karel Husa, Donald Martino, Frank Proto and Elliott Carter. He was chosen by the composer Frank Proto to premiere his Duo #2 for violin and bass (with the composer performing) at the 2006 Hawaii Bass Festival. Click Here. He also premiered local composer Angel Pena’s Serenade for violin and orchestra. In 2010, he premiered four of his own compositions, one for solo violin and three for voice and violin.
Darel starting playing string quartets at age nine. On both violin and viola he has performed over one hundred chamber music works including a dozen world premieres by contemporary composers. His most influential chamber music coaches include Julius Levine, Earl Carlyss, Samuel Sanders, Ellen Mack, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, and Berl Senofsky. He performed Schumann’s piano quintet with pianist Christopher O’Riley in Honolulu.
Besides performing dozens of solo recitals in Europe and the United States, he has over fifty solo performances with orchestras under his belt. With his wife Georgine, he has performed extensively as the Stark Duo featuring works for voice and violin. In addition, he was featured solo violin collaborator on baroque music concerts with vocalists Jennifer Lane and Julianne Baird. The numerous music festivals he performed at include the Shippensburg University Summer Festival in Pennsylvania, the Garth Newel Chamber Music Festival in Hot Springs, Virginia and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany.
Since moving to Hawaii, he has had many performances aside from his orchestral playing. These include performing all six solo partitas and sonatas by Bach in Honolulu, violin and viola soloist for all of Bach’sBrandenburg Concertos with the Bach Chamber Orchestra, soloist and conductor for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Mozart’s A Major Violin Concerto; solo appearances with Honolulu Symphony in works by Bach, Saint-Saëns and William Schuman; solo performances with orchestra at the University of Hawaii French Festival, chamber music at the Prince Albert Festival on Kauai, and numerous other chamber music and solo recitals. He is a founding member of the Ardente Chamber Music Groups.