About

Daniel Knapp, originally from Minnesota, is a Cellist and Arts Manager whose work aims to redefine the boundaries of "classical performance” and support artists within the dynamic landscape of contemporary music.

His musical journey began with esteemed cellist and Alexander technique instructor Käthe Jarka, paving the way for his advanced studies at Oberlin under the mentorship of Dmitry Kouzov. At Oberlin, Daniel has crafted his own Major in Arts Administration & Concert Design, allowing him to develop his passions for musical performance and the organizational intricacies of the arts industry. Notably, Daniel is the Founder and Director of The Musikos Collective, a pioneering student-led initiative aimed at fostering Oberlin's engagement with its broader artistic community.

Daniel's artistic pursuits have taken him across the globe, with tours in New York, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, and Český Krumlov, where he has garnered accolades as a two-time prizewinner at the SPCO Chamber Music Competition. His recent endeavors include two tours with The Ἔrιs Quartet, performing over 50 concerts along the East Coast and Midwest in prisons, libraries, parlors, hospitals, halls, museums, and community spaces and a recent residency with The JACK Quartet.  In 2022, Daniel performed at Carnegie Hall with the Oberlin Orchestra for the United Nations General Conference, and this season, Daniel will be returning to NYC as a member of Oberlin CME for Bang on a Can’s Long Play Festival. 

Daniel discovered his passion for contemporary music under the mentorship of Dana Jessen, Lucas Shogren, and Rhonda Rider. He has commissioned over 20 new works for solo cello and chamber ensembles from composers at Oberlin, NEC, The Juilliard School, BOCO, Bard Conservatory, and SFCM, and has had the honor of performing solo and chamber premieres by esteemed composers such as Joan Tower, Ben Nubotu, Nicole Lizée, and Courtney Brian. Recent performance highlights include performances alongside Eighth Blackbird, Wendy Eisenberg, Ross Karre, and Viet Cuong.

Beyond his performances, Daniel is carving a path in Arts Administration, embodying his commitment to education and community engagement. Noteworthy achievements include the development of "IConnect," an educational program for young cellists with the International Cello Institute, and past positions with The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and The Meadowmount School of Music, where he managed extensive concert programs featuring over 200 student performers. 

In his current roles, Daniel works as the Digital Strategist for the Bright Shiny Things record label, assists in management roles for Sybarite5, and is the Student Assistant and Peer Advisor for the Oberlin Professional Development Department, guiding fellow students in their artistic and professional endeavors. Daniel's academic pursuits include a BM in Cello Performance with Dmitry Kouzov and a BA with an Individual Major in Arts Administration and Concert Design. His favorite color is somewhere between a blood orange and a mango. And a pomegranate.

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