Alumni Play On: Daniel Laufer, 1984

Daniel Laufer has been Associate Principal Cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) since 1991, after spending his first two professional years as a musician with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Since this winter, he has been Acting Principal of the ASO and will continue in that capacity for next season as well.

Daniel began playing cello at age ten and became a part of MYSO (then MFY) from 1982-1984. In the fall of 1984, he started ninth grade at the School of the Arts in North Carolina to further his studies on the cello. MFY was Daniel’s first orchestral experience and exposed him to playing in a large ensemble. “To be performing large and complex pieces was challenging but also made me interested in learning more of the orchestral repertoire. One of the many lessons I learned during those years was to listen to others around you who are playing different parts while you play your own.”

Daniel has many fond memories of conductor Joseph Seroogy. He said Mr. Seroogy, “worked us hard but was also a very warm person. He gave us a lot of positive encouragement to play our best. One of my memories working with Mr. Seroogy was when he brought every member of our orchestra chocolate cigars in celebration of the birth of one of his children. We all thought that was so cool!”

In addition to playing in the ASO, Daniel has also been very active in chamber music over the years. He has had the great fortune of playing many times with his father, Wolfgang, in the Fine Arts Quartet as well as other chamber music settings. His father started him on the cello.

Each year, Daniel spends part of his summer at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming where he is one of the principal cellists. At the festival this year, he enjoyed reconnecting and playing with fellow MFY violist and friend Joan DerHovsepian.

Speaking to his experience, Daniel added: “If you want to be a professional musician, work very hard – but not only on technique. Style, colors of sound, and phrasing are key in making you a well-rounded and successful musician.”

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