Please share your background with us.
I was born and raised in Adelaide, Australia as second child of five. My parents were both mathematicians who met while doing doctorate studies at Caltech and worked at Flinders University in Adelaide. My father was born and raised in Australia and my mother in China and Taiwan. My brother Stanley, who is one year older than me, started on the violin when he was five and I followed suit one year later.
After finishing up my schooling, I went to Switzerland to study music and made it to my profession. Now, I am artistic director of Festival Strings Lucerne, perform with them all over the world, tutor a violin class at the University of Lucerne, and play chamber music concerts as well as a soloist with different orchestras. I live in Lucerne together with my beautiful wife, also a violinist, and two wonderful children.
You toured India with Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Australian World Orchestra in October 2015. How was your India experience?
India is an amazing experience. I love India, and have travelled there on a few occasions to visit and am always deeply impressed with the country. It was a special trip for me this time, performing with the Australian World Orchestra and Maestro Zubin Mehta and as a soloist in concerts together with Tobias Lea from the Vienna Philharmonic was a particularly beautiful experience.
What was the overall reaction of the audience from your India concerts?
I experienced the Indian audiences as being warm and sympathetic. The interactions I had with various concert goers after the concert revealed their deep appreciation and joy they experienced in the concert. There has to be a sense of curiosity and eagerness for audience members who are new to Western classical music in order to get out and visit a concert, and I felt that this curiosity to experience new music was there in spades.
India has a deep musical culture of its own and it is this sense of respect and acknowledgement of culture as a fundamental part of life and society that I feel gives the Indians a wonderful opportunity to explore other exciting worlds of culture such as Western classical music in a fruitful and rewarding manner.
Your favourite composer and piece of all time?
Such a hard question to answer! Music, not only Western classical music is so rich and diverse and I find that every time I delve into a particular piece or work of music it becomes my favourite work at that moment.
Why is music and its education important?
Not only is music an intellectually stimulating activity, it can provide deep enrichment and enjoyment to one’s own personal life and to the life that society has to offer as a whole. As an art form as with all art forms, it carries with it the potential to reveal wonder, beauty and even a sense of mystery of life, to reveal as open doors of perception previously thought closed.
Find out more about Daniel Dodds and his activities at his website: www.danieldodds.net