Hi, I'm Daphne!
From the early stages of my musical education, my studies followed the traditionally classical path. However, I have always held a personal fascination for "world" genres, rhythms and idioms, which equally inspire my compositions today.
I like going beyond classical music borders to find new ways of bringing creative people together. Whether by introducing classical orchestra musicians to Latin and Jazz rhythms, choreographing a breakdance routine to violin music, or improvising music to live poetry recitation, I love to bring creators together in unexpected partnerships. Dancing on Ice - a recent film project that I created, produced, directed and co-choreographed - marked the beginning of a new and exciting phase of multi-genre collaboration.
Although music is a very big part of my life, I am also passionate about humanitarian work and education. I recently began working on an innovative music teaching program, promoting creative listening for students, and continue being directly involved in numerous humanitarian projects around the world.
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
- Pablo Picasso
From a very young age, Daphne showed an instinct and passion for improvisation. At the age of 4, she took up piano lessons at a local music school in the Swiss Alpine town of Gstaad, and very soon began asking people around her for themes on which to improvise, often inspired by the natural world around her. The local wildlife, the unpredictability of the mountains, and the drama of the setting sun; all would become features of the young Daphne’s spontaneous musical creations.
At the age of 9, Daphne swapped mountain life for a period of piano study at the Geneva Conservatory under the guidance of the school’s Head of Piano. The city offered more opportunities to perform, both as a soloist-composer and in collaboration with other artists, including ballet students. For three years, Daphne attended a summer course in Venice, where she began to study composition and where she wrote her first piece for orchestra, “Opening Wings”. There, she met a piano teacher who inspired her to move to the challenging and comprehensive musical environment of the renowned Wells Cathedral School, a specialist music school in England. She took her own decision to do so in 2012, aged 10.
The music school provided an environment in which Daphne was able to expand her studies in piano, while adding percussion to her instrumental skill set. She learned to notate her improvised and formally composed works, and regularly wrote pieces for the school’s many ensembles. She left Wells in 2017, with academic successes in Piano (Grade 8), Musical Theatre (Grade 8), Orchestral Percussion (Grade 7), and Music Theory (Grade 6), as well as a 1st Prize in Piano and Composition from the Bristol Festival of Music.
Daphne elected to graduate high school at the age of 16 following a brief return to Geneva and took a further bold decision to move to Vienna, where she would begin a self-curated, multi-disciplinary course of musical studies. She was inspired to do so after working with the Vienna-based musical duo “Igudesman and Joo” on a show featuring the acclaimed pianist Yuja Wang. By the end of her first year in Vienna, Daphne has composed “The Haunted Carousel”, an orchestral piece which received its debut at the Wiener Konzerthaus’ New Year's Concert, 2018. She was just 17 years old.
Daphne’s interests beyond music extend into the fields of education and humanitarian aid. After graduating high school, she volunteered through the Swiss NGO OneAction to work at the INEPE School in Ecuador, where she taught English and developed her own method of music pedagogy for students aged 5 to 18. While at INEPE, she also introduced the study of Phytotherapy to the staff and students, with a view to improving family health through an understanding of medicinal plants.
Daphne continues her independent studies in Vienna today, working on composition with Tristan Schulze and piano with Yu Horiuchi. She takes full advantage of the city’s rich musical environment, participating in workshops, masterclasses, and multi-disciplinary collaborations with other artists.