Daniela Shtereva was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, into a family with preserved musical traditions for five generations. She began violin lessons with Elena Doykova and completed her high school studies with Elena Koynova. Shtereva holds a bachelors degree from the National Conservatory of Music in Sofia, an M.M. degree from Louisiana State University and an Artist Diploma from Carnegie Mellon University. Her teachers in the United States were Kevork Mardirossian and Cyrus Forough.
Shtereva has toured with orchestras throughout Europe. Performances in the United States include the Pittsburgh and Boston symphonies. Shtereva has also served as concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Opera Theater, the Tulsa Opera and the McKeesport Symphony. She has served as assistant concertmaster with Baton Rouge and Westmoreland symphonies, the Erie Philharmonic and the Academy Orchestra in Pittsburgh.
As a chamber music performer, Shtereva's appearances include the Seattle Chamber Music Festival in 2007 and scholarship training at the Starling Quartet of Carnegie Mellon University in 2004-05. This season she looks forward to performing with her colleagues from the Naples Philharmonic at the Sypert chamber music series.
As a teacher, Shtereva maintained a private studio in Baton Rouge and later in Pittsburgh, teaching beginners from the age of 5 to 72. During her studies in Pittburgh, she had the honor of working as assistant to her violin professor Cyrus Forough, at Carnegie Mellon University.
Shtereva won first prize at the Lynn National Violin Competition in 2007 and the Washington International String Competition in 2006. She was also a semi-finalist of the Sarasate International Violin Competition in 2007, Michael Hill in 2007, Indianapolis in 2006, and Sibelius in 2005. Reviews of her performances were published in the Strad magazine and the Washington Post. Live broadcasts of her performances can be found on www.violin.org, as well as www.youtube.com. She has five CDs released on Music Minus One.
Currently, Shtereva performs as a member of the Naples Philharmonic and performs on a violin and a bow generously on loan from her teacher – Cyrus Forough. She joined the Naples Philharmonic in 2008.
Daniela Shtereva is underwritten by David & Cecile Wang.
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: PEOPLE! They are so friendly, relaxed, nice, no attitude, just peaceful. Can't beat that!