Daniel Winnick has performed and taught violin and viola in Michigan since 2005.
Growing up in New Jersey, Daniel led sections of the Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra under the late Joseph Primavera. Later, he played in the acclaimed University Symphony Orchestra (USO) at the University of Michigan, and sat concertmaster in the Michigan Pops Orchestra during the 2008-9 season. Since graduating, Daniel has performed with the orchestras of Ann Arbor, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Warren, Saginaw, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and served as concertmaster of Arbor Opera Theater for productions of Die Fledermaus, Carmen and La Boheme. He is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, and a tenured member of the the Flint Symphony Orchestra.
An avid chamber musician, Daniel has studied at Point CounterPoint, the Blue Mountain Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Brevard Music Center, where he participated in the Advanced String Quartet program. From 2006 to 2010, he was a member of the Baits Quartet, a student group at the University of Michigan that represented the university in masterclasses and alumni events, while also presenting three full-length recitals of music ranging from Haydn to Hindemith. More recently, Daniel has played concerts with the Burdick-Thorne string quartet of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and with the CutTime String Quartet, an ensemble founded by the bass player Rick Robinson, formerly of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Daniel's work with chamber ensembles has occasionally taken him out of the traditional concert-hall setting, most memorably during a 2009 performance marking the 100th anniversary of the University of Michigan dance department, in which he played the Habanera from Carmen while dancers performed an improvised routine aboard a city bus--as it was moving! Since 2009, Daniel has taken an active role in the Ann Arbor and Detroit chapters of Classical Revolution, a San Francisco-based initiative that seeks to bring chamber music straight to the people in bars, cafes and other public spaces.
Daniel's time at Michigan exposed him to the work of many talented student composers, which kindled his own interest in new music. He was a frequent performer in the bimonthly student composers' forums, and he participated in the 2009 Midwest Composers Symposium, performing a piano quintet by Subaram Raman. He joined the Baits Quartet in collaborations with the students of Bright Sheng, U of M's award-winning composer, and with the USO premiered 'The Old Burying Ground,' Evan Chambers's work for voices and orchestra, which the orchestra later recorded for release on the Dorian Sono Luminus label. In the spring of 2008, Daniel took part in the Ann Arbor premiere of Evan Premo's chamber opera, 'The Diaries of Adam and Eve,' and in 2009, he joined the Contemporary Directions Ensemble at U of M, performing the solo violin part in John Adams's notoriously difficult 'Chamber Symphony.'
Alongside chamber music and new music, Daniel has also cultivated a talent for improvisation, studying jazz with Ellen Rowe at U of M, and participating in improv-based workshops with Time for Three. From 2012 to 2015, he played fiddle in the Detroit indie-folk band The Thornbills.
Daniel's principal teachers are Nancy Wilson and Andrew Jennings; he has also studied with Kathryn Berofsky, Dennis Kim, David Salness and Joel Smirnoff. He has participated in masterclasses with William Preucil, Sheryl Staples, Bruno Monsaingeon, the Takacs Quartet, the Guarneri Quartet, and eighth blackbird, the Chicago-based new music ensemble. His chamber music teachers include Mr. Jennings, Christopher Harding, Catherine Collier, Martin Katz, and Yehonatan Berick.
Daniel has taught at the St. Francis School and the Rudolf Steiner School in Ann Arbor, and he is on the faculty of Cultural Art Strings in Manchester, Michigan. He has also taught after-school violin classes to elementary-school students in Flint, Michigan, as part of the Sphinx Organization's Overture program.