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Dimitris Dounis
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Image: Dimitris DounisAbout Dimitris Dounis

The Athens Quintet ''Dimitris Dounis'' has taken its name from Demetrius Constantine Dounis (c. 1886 to 1894 - August 13, 1954) who was an influential teacher of violin and string instrument technique, as well as violinist, violist, and mandolin player.

Considerable uncertainty prevails on the subject of Dounis's early life, beginning with the date of his birth in Athens, variously given as 1886 (according to most library catalogues), 1893 [1], or 1894[2].He is said to have performed his first violin recital at the age of 7, and to have toured the United States as a mandolinist at 14. He studied under Franz Ondriček in Vienna, where he also took a medical degree, specializing in neurology and psychiatry.

After World War I, when he served as a doctor in the Greek army, he was appointed to the chair in violin at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, but soon established himself in the United States. Dounis focused his early medical career on treating professional musicians from the world's major symphonies. He would work with a musician for at least six months, observing the musician's technique, asking questions, and devising new exercises to indirectly address the problem. Dounis also wrote several instructional books. In his 1921 volume The Artist’s Technique of Violin Playing, Dounis emphasized the importance of shifting and finger exercises. These were to develop the musician's mental map at the beginning of practice, after which scale drills would be more effective.


Giorgos Goumenakis-mandolin, Mihalis Sidiropoulos-mandolin, Giannis Goumenakis-mandola, Giorgos Theodoropoulos-mandolocello, Vassiliki Leondari-guitar

Website: www.myspace.com/dimitrisdounisquintetto

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