Described as “a poet on the piano” by German newspaper Die Welt, the rising-star pianist Danae Dörken has become one of the most sought-after soloists of her generation. She regularly impresses audiences at major festivals and concert halls worldwide with her breathtaking technique, profound musicality, and colour-rich sound.
Highlights of the 2015/16 season include debut performances with the Münchner Symphoniker, Dortmund Philharmonic, Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, as well as at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival. In addition to being a dedicated chamber musician, Danae Dörken is looking forward to upcoming collaborations with cellists Danjulo Ishizaka and Benedikt Klöckner, violinist Caroline Goulding and her sister Kiveli Dörken, also a pianist. Last season saw Danae Dörken on a US tour as a soloist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, performing with the Bielefeld Symphony Orchestra, giving her debut at the KKL Lucerne as well as further performances in Hamburg, Hannover, Bülach, Stuttgart, and on the MS Europa. In 2015 Danae and Kiveli Dörken founded the Molyvos International Music Festival, presenting highest level chamber music concerts with Sebastian Manz, Danjulo Ishizaka, and Hyeyoon Park.
In May 2014 Dörken’s second CD with ARS Produktion was released, including fantasies by Schumann, Schubert, and C.P.E. Bach. This recording was nominated for an ICMA Award. Her first album, released in 2012, includes works by Janaczek and received high critical acclaim.
Despite being only 24-years-old, Danae Dörken has already played in major concert halls such as the Cologne Philharmonie, Essen Philharmonie, Gasteig Munich, Konzerthaus Berlin, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, and Beethoven Haus Bonn. She is a regular guest at festivals such as the Kissinger Sommer, the Schwetzingen Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the Chamber Music Festival “Spannungen” in Heimbach. Furthermore she has recorded live broadcasts for WDR3, SWR2, and NDR Kultur radios, and has appeared on television channels Arte, 3sat, and BR. Dörken has also performed with artists such as Lars Vogt, Gustav Rivinius, Sharon Kam, Artur Pizarro, Christiane Oelze, Carolin Widmann, and Katia and Marielle Labèque.
Born in Wuppertal in August 1991, Danae Dörken grew up in a German-Greek family. She received her first piano lessons at the age of five with Marina Kheifets and won her first competition just six months later. She has since received numerous awards in national and international competitions. Due to her outstanding performance as the youngest participant in the “International Competition for Young Musicians” in Enschede, Netherlands, the “Prix Unique” prize was specifically created for Danae Dörken and is now being awarded annually ever since.
In March 1999 she met violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin, attended an orchestra rehearsal with him and was invited to play for him. Menuhin was so impressed by the young pianist that he offered to support her personally. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after this meeting. At the end of 2002 Danae Dörken attended a master class of the renowned piano teacher Karl-Heinz Kammerling, who immediately invited her to join his class and continued teaching her until his death in 2012. Subsequently, Dörken continued her studies with Lars Vogt in Hannover.