Daria Binkowski is a flutist, toy pianist, and musical adventurer currently soaking in the sunshine and palm trees of Los Angeles, CA.
As the old saying goes, have flute (or toy piano), will travel.
Binkowski is part of the three-headed hydra known as Figmentum, a Southern California-based ensemble specializing in new works for a trio of toy pianos and assorted other instruments. Figmentum has appeared at the Florida International Toy Piano Festival, the College Music Society Conference (Pacific Southwest Chapter), and the San Diego Toy Piano Festival.
When not playing with toy pianos (or building prototypes for bass toy pianos), Binkowski spends their time as an accomplished flutist and teacher, performing at the Music by Women Festival in Columbus, Mississippi, SEAMUS, Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music, Newport Jazz Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival and the Audio Art Festival in Krakow, among many others.
In a previous life, Binkowski held principal flute positions with the China National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra in Beijing and the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan, in addition to moonlighting with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Seattle Symphony.
These days, Binkowski spends more time with multiphonics than Mozart, specializing in contemporary performance technique (the weirder, the better) and challenging composers to write difficult music because, hey, everyone needs a hobby. If they aren’t standing on their head playing whistle tones, Binkowski is probably off founding yet another nonprofit contemporary music ensemble. Past projects include the Liminal Project, Inverted Space Ensemble, and Figmentum. And yeah, they may have been there for the beginning of the Talea Ensemble, as well.
Binkowski loves to speak about contemporary flute technique to young, impressionable minds, and has already corrupted many students at esteemed institutions such as Harvard University, Clark University, China Conservatory, and the University of Washington, to name a few. They also have taught traditional flute repertoire at the Banff Center, Cornell University, and in a city near you as a private studio instructor.
Surprisingly, multiple institutions of higher learning have awarded Binkowski degrees in music performance (Eastman School of Music and McGill University) and arts administration (Seattle University), and Binkowski remains a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington in perpetuity.
In addition to their performance activities, Binkowski is embarking on a go at composing, Their piece for toy piano trio, Fight or Flyte, had its premiere in San Diego in February 2019, and Daria’s new work, definition of an idiom, for flute and toy psaltery, was premiered in San Diego in June 2019.
Daria is also the founder and owner of the Toy Piano Digital Library, a first-of-its kind resource for toy piano repertoire.
For a copy of my official, press-acceptable biography, please go here.