Salisbury Symphony Orchestra
Salisbury Symphony Orchestra

Artist Spotlight

Daniel Kotowski  

Daniel is a junior at Salisbury University, majoring in math. His hometown is Baltimore. He has been a cellist in the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra since his freshman year.  

What instrument do you play:  I play the cello--- started at age 3.  My mother was a pianist and always wanted a cellist in the family to help her play Beethoven piano and cello sonatas!  She encouraged me to continue to play even when I wanted to quit, and now I am very grateful to her for that.  

Why did you choose Salisbury University?  I wanted to be close to home, but not too close!  I had heard good things about the math department and also Dr. Jeff Schoyen and the orchestra.   Do you play with any other musical groups besides the Symphony?  Not currently, but I take cello lessons from Jeff Schoyen who has been a big inspiration to me.  

What do you think of the music scene in Salisbury?  I think it could be improved.  There are not enough venues for local musicians, such as college students, to get together and perform their music.  

Who are your favorite composer and performer?  Bach is my favorite composer and Jacqueline du Pre is my favorite cellist.  

What inspires you?  Both math and music are inspirations to me.  Music is more than a hobby.  Life would not be the same without it; it’s relaxing, fun, and a good way to meet people.  

What are the challenges in your life?  I have a lot going on right now.  I am a full time student, play in the orchestra, tutor math, and have been working part time for the last 4 years for Lockheed Martin in research and development  

What are your hobbies and other interests?  When I was in high school, I went to Russia with the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra.  I studied Russian for 7 years, and spent a month there in 2006 living with a family.

I’m also interested in cryptography (the science of information security) and cryptology (the science of creating and breaking of secret codes), and initiated a drive to start a new selected topics class in the math department at SU in cryptography which will be offered next semester.  Many of my friends are engineering majors, and one summer a couple of years ago, we built a small hover craft out of wood, plastic, a drop cloth, and a leaf blower!  You can see videos of our working hover craft on You Tube. We also designed small robots that can walk.  

What are your career goals?  I plan to go to graduate school, possibly to be a math teacher, but I’m also interested in the possibility of working for the NSA (National Security Agency) in cryptography.  I hope to continue to play the cello wherever my career goals take me.