Founder of Maestro Musicians, violinist Daniel Broniatowski has performed in many parts of the United States and Europe. He has had the privilege of studying with some of the world’s most eminent teachers schooled in the Russian and French virtuosic technique of violin playing. Dr. Broniatowski holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in violin performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston and a Masters of Music degree from the Royal College of Music in London. He has also completed a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at Boston University where he was accepted on full scholarship. Dr. Broniatowski has performed in many venues such as Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and Cleveland’s Severance Hall. Dr. Broniatowski has a particular interest in performing Jewish inspired classical music. One event of special personal significance was his performance of Bloch’s Baal Shem Suite in Poland with the Philharmonia Czestochowa under the baton of Michal Nesterowicz in collaboration with the World Society of Czestochowa Jews and their Descendants. Dr. Broniatowski and his quartet have recorded local composer Erik Lindgren’s String Quartet Number 2 on the album “Progressive Music for String Quartet”. They have also been featured twice on WBZ’s The Jordan Rich Show.
I hope you will enjoy and be inspired by my story below!
When I was six years old, my father took me to a violin shop. Some years later, I was told by my grandmother that this trip was inspired by a performance given by a resident at the beginning of a medical conference. Although my initial attitude to the violin was care-free, I always liked music as a child. I remember dancing around the living room to my mom’s piano playing. In fact, there are somewhat embarrassing home videos of me twirling around in circles to a recording of a march by John Philip Sousa.
Soon after the violin was purchased, my parents enrolled me in the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Suzuki Method program – a philosophy that encourages a nurturing approach to learning. Practicing was always encouraged through positive affirmation. The teachers instilled in me the joy of a job well done through stickers, games, and positive affirmation. I will also never forget the “play-ins”, where scores of violinists would perform together for an audience of parents and friends at least twice a year. It was this carrot and stick approach to practicing, coupled with the social aspect of making music together, that would eventually grow on me progressively, yet deliberately.
As I matured into my teenage years, I started to recognize that I had an ability to communicate that made me unique. Whether it was the joy people felt of watching a young violinist and his mother on the piano, or the power of the music I played, people were moved by my performances. Some of the most fundamental influences that shaped my desire to spend a life in music were my participation in the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra from 1996-1999, my two years of serving as concertmaster in the Cleveland Heights High School Youth Orchestra (1997-1999), and my senior solo concert with the latter ensemble in 1999 where I performed Wieniawski’s Polonaise in D Major. Around the time I started applying to colleges I remember thinking “This is what I want to do. I want to move people and influence them positively through my music”. This would ultimately change to a desire to influence culture and society-at-large.
The transition to higher-education would bring a fundamental change in my life as a performer. There was much work that needed to be done, technically speaking, and I had to spend many hours in the practice room over the course of approximately 10 years. All of my future teachers would give me a solid grounding in musical fundamentals, and rock-solid mental training to develop nerves of steel.
My four years at the New England Conservatory in Boston were shaped by my studies with the prize-winning violinist, Michèle Auclair. At this stage of my life, I was practicing 5 hours per day, rehearsing in orchestra for approximately 9 hours per week, taking music theory and music history classes, and playing chamber music. Needless to say, it was an intense time! In my last year, I started to teach a private student. Little did I know that this would develop into a passion, later on.
My next stage was a two year Masters program at the Royal College of Music in London from 2003-2005, where I studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky who serves on the juries of many international competitions. The Royal College of Music’s graduate studies program was heavily focused on producing soloists. We were given an education that allowed us to focus primarily on our applied instrument in an even more in-depth manner.
Following my time in London, I came back to Boston in 2005 where I was accepted on full scholarship to Boston University in their Doctor of Musical Arts Program. At BU, I had the privilege of studying with Yuri Mazurkevich, famed Russian violinist who was a top pupil of acclaimed Jewish-Soviet violinist David Oistrakh. At BU, I found that I was back to the old model that I had experienced at New England Conservatory – this time in even more detail. In addition to the regular daily practicing (this time, three hours per day) and orchestra rehearsals (still approximately 9 hours per week), we learned music theory and music history in great detail to a point that we were able to apply this knowledge to create historically informed performances. Adding this element of scholarship to my playing was very helpful in my knowledge of interpretation. Furthermore, by the end of my studies in 2010, I had developed my own unique style of performing based on my own body-type. It became more and more clear to me that a serious student of the violin must one day break free from any previous “moulds” assigned by his or her teachers and find a unique sound and way of playing. This could only be accomplished with a strong dialogue between one’s own mind and body – a conversation that is refined year after year.
In tandem with my studies at BU, I also taught for two years at the Powers Music School – a small community-based institution that provides lessons for adults and children. Pivotally, I learned that I could communicate and inspire the way I had always wanted to, not only through performing, but through teaching as well. A further year of teaching in the public schools of Birmingham, England confirmed the fact that teaching is truly a medium that enables me to transmit the life-long inspiration that I so longed to impart.
I have learned from all my experiences that our society needs musicians to continue the tradition of the great composers. A society’s culture is shaped by the music that it is exposed to and I see my mission as promulgating the values of harmony, tension, resolution, and sweetness that are evident in classical music. I am now playing private concerts and am managing a music schooled called The Maestro Musicians Academy. Maestro Musicians offers music lessons in Boston, Baltimore, and online. I blessed to be fulfilling what I believe is my calling and this is one of the most wonderful gifts one can ask for.
What I believe makes my school unique is my unwavering conviction that music lessons have the ability to transcend the instrument and inspire all areas of life. With the right teacher as a role model, every student can find that crucial equilibrium between inspiration and discipline which is necessary to accomplish anything worthwhile in life. The best teachers and mentors do not spoon-feed. Nor do they impose their ways. Rather, they empower individuals through a careful balancing act of praise and patient firmness. It is this “I can” attitude that creates the character traits necessary for success in any subject.
Dr. Daniel Broniatowski www.mmalexington.wpengine.com