Cameron Daly, Violin
In 2018, Cameron Daly graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in global affairs from Yale University, where he primarily studied U.S.-Russian relations and Soviet history, as well as violin under Professor Wendy Sharp. For his senior capstone project, Cameron developed a quantitative framework alongside a small team of Yale undergraduates for the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation’s use in analyzing and anticipating the development impact of private equity fund managers in sub-Saharan Africa. Cameron then continued his studies at Yale, changing schools and earning a Master of Music in violin performance under Professor Ani Kavafian in May 2020.
While at Yale, Cameron served as concertmaster of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and the Yale Philharmonia, performing the Glazunov Violin Concerto with the Yale Symphony in their 2017 season, and performing as co-concertmaster during the YSO’s tour of Russia. He was also a tenured member of the New Haven Symphony and a summer fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center, where he appeared multiple times as concertmaster under Maestro Andris Nelsons and led an unconducted performance of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in 2019. Cameron performs on a modern violin by Andrew Ryan.
After 18 wonderful years of life in Southern California, I voluntarily moved to Connecticut, where I survived six winters before landing a position in the Naples Philharmonic. I began thawing out in Naples in September of 2020, having graduated from Yale University in May.
What inspired you to become a musician?
I have always loved music, but it was my passion for history that inspired me to pursue music as a profession. I remember one performance in particular from my youth, in which the conductor (also my violin teacher at the time), Alexander Treger, cried on the podium during the heart-wrenching climax of the Largo from Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. It was clear the music had deep associations with Mr. Treger’s own past, and also with his community, his culture and his country. One can learn about history through language, but I love the way that music, especially romantic music and music of the 20th century, can offer a personal, ineffable image of a composer—a sonic reflection of his or her place in history. To be a performer is to create this image, to take that electric silence in the hall, and offer something to the audience: a living work of art that they can discover in that moment for themselves, across cultures and through time!
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I love the fact that we perform not only orchestral works, but also chamber music, pops, ballet and opera masterpieces. Though it is challenging for me to learn new repertoire every week, I truly enjoy performing this wide range of music.
What’s challenging about playing your instrument?
Intonation! Intonation! Intonation!
Also, it is difficult to reconcile a wooden bow with a lyrical melody. The violin resonates, but it is the bow that draws out the sound. Naturally, the bow is linear and not conducive to the natural ebb and flow of a human voice in song, or a wind/brass instrument — so this must be artificially recreated! This, I find, takes immense creativity and focus. Our goal as violinists is overcome the innate mechanical limitations of the instrument and to produce pure musical sounds, not limited or affected by technical hurdles.
What are your favorite compositions?
- Beethoven’s string quartets
- Mahler’s symphonies, but especially the 4th, 5th, 6th and the Adagio from his (sadly unfinished) 10th symphony
- Brahms’ Symphony No. 4
- Debussy’s String Quartet
- Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht
- Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder, Also sprach Zarathustra and Tod und Verklärung
- The Beatles’ Abbey Road
Are there other musicians in your immediate family?
No. My dad is an actor — ever seen Fruit of the Loom commercials? My go-to fun fact is that he was the “Apple.” My mom is a real estate agent, and my sister is training to become a speech-language pathologist at Vanderbilt.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of music, I love reading all things on international relations, Soviet history and political history. I love surfing, but I haven’t been able to do it much since moving east, and the waves in Naples are rather flat… I also enjoy running and spending time out in the sun!