Darwyn’s love of classical music began as a toddler when his mother, Alyce, and his Aunt Dorothy Smoot, introduced him to classics. Chopin’s Nocturne Opus9 #2 is the first music he remembers hearing. After that, music became an obsession and he knew he was going to be a violinist.
Darwyn began studying the violin at the age of seven in the Detroit Public Schools. Teachers and others soon discovered his extraordinary talent – a gift– and he was invited to play at various local venues. While performing at a Lutheran church in Detroit, the organist/choirmaster, Dr. Eugene W. Hancock, was so impressed with Darwyn ’s incredible abilities that he became one of the young violinist’s early mentors.
After his debut with the Detroit Symphony at age 17, Darwyn attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York on a full tuition scholarship obtained from the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. He subsequently followed his teacher and mentor Joseph Knitzer, a student of Leopold Auer, the teacher of Jascha Heifetz, to the University of Michigan. There he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in performance. As Darwyn’s primary mentor, Joseph Knitzer urged all of his students to listen to and emulate the great soprano singers. Among his favorites are: Maria Callas, Leontyne Price, and Jessye Norman. Darwyn took that suggestion to heart and considers himself a “Bel Canto” violinist, which he exemplifies in his performances of Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’, Rachmaninoff’s ‘Vocalise’, Chopin’s ‘Nocturne’ , in E Flat Major, and William Grant Still’s ‘Mother and Child’. In fact, Darwyn treats all musical lines as would a vocalist.
Following graduation he studied in Italy as a Fulbright Scholar. In Rome he coached with Pina Carmirelli at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (St. Cecilia Academy in Rome) and in Siena, Franco Gulli was his coach at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Chigiana Musicial Academy).
Darwyn has extensive solo and ensemble experiences in the
United States, the Virgin Islands, Europe, and South America as well as solo appearances with many American orchestras, including those of New Orleans, Toledo, St. Louis, and many return engagements with the Detroit Symphony. He performed as part of the presidential inaugural festivities in Washington, D.C., in January 1993.
Mr. Apple was first violinist with The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra for many years and and was previously a member of The New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, The Rochester Philharmonic and served as concertmaster of the Toledo Symphony. He also has a long history as an educator, clinician, lecturer, role model and arts advocate throughout America. He served on the faculties of Wayne State University, Principia College, Webster University, Lindenwood College, and the University of Missouri – St. Louis. As part of his commitment to community outreach, he has performed in numerous schools, churches, temples, parks, and at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center.