I began learning the violin at the age of 11 and I never knew the world of music or the arts before that. It took a while for self-inspiration and motivation to come, however, by the time I was 13, it was routine to start practising as soon as school ended! Coming from a non-musical background, I always wished that I had been immersed in music from an earlier age. It was only by luck that my parents decided that I should take up an instrument and I really began to enjoy listening and playing music, which I am always grateful for!
I moved to Birmingham at the age of five from Korea. I took part in the Saturday orchestras in Birmingham that were provided by the Birmingham music service. I think this was perhaps the first time I got to interact with other musicians and I was so fascinated by how all the different parts and instruments of the orchestra fitted together! At the age of 15, I began attending the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department. This is where I began taking music seriously and then went on to study at The Purcell School for young musicians and the Royal College of Music thereafter.
There have been a few really exciting moments in my life as a musician! One of them was the first time I played in a chamber group and the other was when I got to play as a soloist with orchestra. There’s always something so special about making music with others, especially people you like! However, my most treasured moment, but also the hardest, was when I started at the Royal College of Music. I often had doubts about pursuing music, due to its competitive scene and also because of self-doubt. This was where I learned that every downfall or underwhelming performance I had was an opportunity to learn and become better. Everyone has to start somewhere!
Nowadays, I love teaching and it’s something I'm very passionate about. It’s always a magical moment when a child has a moment of pure musical inspiration in their faces from learning an instrument or watching a performance!
In my spare time, I love to run, swim and cook! I try to force myself to read more, however, especially after a long day, Netflix is usually the preferred choice!
Royal College of Music
Where’s your favourite place to listen to music and why?
My favourite place to listen to music is when I’m jogging or walking outside. I feel as though when I’m inside I tend to analyse rather than to simply listen.
What’s your most memorable moment as a musician?
After giving a small concert in a church, a first time classical concert goer approached me and said “you’ve made my day”.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I took ballet lessons for a few months when I was 5 years old, however soon realised it wasn’t really for me!
Daniel is a member of the 2020-2021 fellowship.