Name: Daniela Shtereva
Hometown: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
At what age did you begin playing your instrument? 4 1/2 years
Who have been your greatest musical influences? My grandfather (teacher and musician himself), my whole family, who are all musicians for five generations, all my teachers, especially the last one, Cyrus Forough, and all people who are natural, passionate, sincere, and generous about music-making!
Who are your favorite composers? It's like asking what is my favorite food. All. Variety is important. The same goes for music. It's food for the soul. So, my answer would be something like: Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, Franck, Faure, Lekeu, Ysaÿe, Chopin, Kodaly, Bartók, Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Debussy, Ravel, Vladigerov (let's not forget the Bulgarians!), Lutoslawski .... the list doesn't end!
What career path would you have taken had you not chosen music? Dance, or painting, sports, or medicine… It's hard to imagine life without music, actually.
What's currently playing on your iPod or CD player? The music that I am working on for my violin competition – Ysaÿe, Schubert, Lekeu, etc. The rest of the time, anything – classical, jazz, folk, salsa.
Your hobbies and interests: crafts, traveling, swimming, people. Learning anything I don't know, doing anything I haven't done.
Some little-known, yet interesting facts about you: I am on open book; people read me and understand me as they can. Nothing to hide.
Funniest concert moment: MANY! From forgetting my concert shoes on the bus in Norway right before performance to choking from dehydration on stage as I was playing Bach's Concerto for two violins. That performance was with orchestra and recorded on TV for broadcast. I coughed so hard I started crying, couldn't see the music, made a huge cut straight to the end of movement III. Everyone caught up with me! And we all had to stay over after the concert to record it again. Since then, I hate using music on stage. I always play by memory if I can, and for a while I used to go on stage with a small piece of gum so my throat never gets dry like that again!
Daily practice rituals: SCALES!
The question you're asked most often about your instrument (and your answer): "How expensive is your violin?" My answer: "The price of a house property." Their response: "Oh, my God! How can you pay for it?" My answer: "I can't. It's on a loan, and I don't give up the dream that one day I will have the income that will allow me to buy one of my own.
Your favorite part about playing in the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra: PEOPLE! They are so friendly, relaxed, nice, no attitude, just peaceful. Can't beat that!