Daniel Itzkowitz


Photos by Matt Dine


Sarasota Music Festival, 2023; Festival Napa Valley, 2022; Eastern Music Festival, 2021

Was there a teacher who was particularly impactful/helpful? What made this instructor stand out?

Among the exceptional teachers I’ve had the privilege of working with, Denise Tryon, my undergraduate horn instructor, holds a special place as the most impactful. Throughout my time at CCM, she not only made me a better musician but also played an instrumental role in shaping the person I am today. She helped to give me tools to continue improving on my own and also to one day teach students of my own.

What made you decide to become a musician? Was there a particular performance or person that influenced your decision?

My older brother, who has always been a role model in my life, also played horn while in middle / high school, which made picking the instrument an easy decision. While he didn’t end up pursuing music as a career, I realized I couldn’t see myself doing anything else when it came time to pick what I wanted to study in college.

How did you hear about TŌN? What inspired you to apply?

TŌN was recommended to me by a teacher I was working with. COVID hit during my first year of my undergraduate degree, so while I felt I got plenty of great instruction, I missed out on a lot of the orchestral experience I would have gotten. This gap in my education made applying to TŌN an obvious choice for me.

What is the most memorable performance you ever had?

A very memorable performance I had was a recent performance of Mládí by Leoš Janáček. It was my first chamber performance with world-class musicians, and putting it together taught me so much about the nuances of playing chamber music at a high level.

What is your proudest achievement as a musician?

As a musician, my proudest achievement isn’t a single performance or award, but rather from working on my performance anxiety. While there have been many nerve-wracking moments on stage, it’s the high-pressure situations where I’m able to take a deep breath and center myself that I treasure the most. While there are certainly times when the nerves still get the better of me, I am proud of the progress I’ve made in working on my performance anxiety.

Can you share any memorable onstage mishaps?

During an all-county performance in 5th grade I got a nosebleed.

Do you have a favorite non-classical musician or band?

It’s too hard to pick just one! A few of my favorites are Parcels, Jeff Buckley, and Mac DeMarco.

What do you wish you knew starting out that you know now?

What I wish I had known when I started out is that everything tends to fall into place as it should. I’ve faced my fair share of rejections from festivals and schools and lost auditions along the way. However, in hindsight, I’ve come to realize that each experience and place I’ve been to was exactly where I needed to be at that particular moment in my life.