PTHS prodigy returns with what he’s learned

Posted 8/12/22

The local superstition Chetzemoka’s Curse goes something like this: Supposedly anyone who has lived in Port Townsend, if they ever try to leave, will be forced to eventually return.

While …

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PTHS prodigy returns with what he’s learned

Posted

The local superstition Chetzemoka’s Curse goes something like this: Supposedly anyone who has lived in Port Townsend, if they ever try to leave, will be forced to eventually return.

While this has never been the scariest curse, in the case of Matthew Daline it is much more the opposite.

After leaving for an international career as a chamber musician, violin and viola soloist, and educator, Daline brings many gifts to Port Townsend upon his return.

“As a high school student, all you want to do is get out and see the world,” Daline said.

He graduated from Port Townsend High School in 1990 and off he went to pursue that dream.

First with his New York solo recital debut in Carnegie Hall as the winner of the Artists International Competition, and then on to perform worldwide as a chamber musician and viola soloist. He received his bachelor of music degree from Juilliard, a master of music degree at Yale University, and a doctorate of musical arts from the State University of New York.

Daline has also performed at music festivals as far afield as Brazil, Korea, Romania, Costa Rica, and China.

With the curse upon him, he now brings these skills back home.

“Once you’ve seen the world, you kind of want to come back to Port Townsend actually,” he said.

And he’s found a perfect venue to share his skills, YEA Music (Youth Education in Arts).

Started in 2018, the group provides music opportunities to youth in East Jefferson County by offering music lessons for whatever students can afford.

“I think Daniel is doing a fantastic job. He has so much energy and so many great ideas,” Daline said of Daniel Ferland, the Youth Orchestra Conductor for YEA who also teaches band and orchestra at Port Townsend High School.

Daline has been appointed the strings coordinator for YEA, where he’ll be working to develop a robust program of players locally from elementary school up through high school.

He’s also in the process of acquiring a business license for a violin shop under the name Daline’s Violins, which he plans to run out of his family home in Uptown. There he and his wife, Jennifer Chung, a renowned pianist in her own right with a doctorate in music performance, will offer private lessons from a teaching studio in the living room while turning the dining room into a display room for violins he hopes to make by hand.

“And we’re going to live out back,” he joked.

When it comes to violin making, Daline showed the same spirit that he brings to his work at YEA.

“I’m hoping to make high quality instruments affordably,” he said, while recalling the story of how he had to mow lawns for five years to be able to afford his first violin.

“That’s what got me into college,” Daline said, referring to the fine quality instrument he was finally able to buy.

So far, he has only been repairing from his own collection of more than 30 instruments, but he is hoping to go back to Italy for a mentorship to master the craft.

“I definitely want to produce something of quality,” he said.

“It’s always been my greatest passion to teach and perform everything about stringed instruments,” Daline added.

For the private teaching studios he and his wife will lead, all levels are welcome. Previous students of Daline have gone on to win major national and international competitions and have gone on to music programs at schools like Juilliard, the Eastman School of Music, and Yale.

To find out more, go to matthewdaline.com.

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