Mid-Week Musician in the Spotlight: Dan Santelices

By: Rebecca Kirkpatrick

It’s time for another edition of the Mid-week Musician in the Spotlight. Each week we will highlight a musician with a few fun facts our patrons may not have otherwise known. This week our Musician in the Spotlight is ASO violinist, Dan Santelices. Here are a few fun facts about Dan:

When is your birthday?
September 2

What is your hometown?
Chicago, Illinois

What instrument(s) can you play?
Violin, Viola, and Piano

"The Magical Music of Harry Potter" is next weekend, October 7th and 8th. What makes you most excited about this concert?
I am excited about performing this concert because I know how much the audience will enjoy it! The scores of John Williams are genius and the ones for the Harry Potter films are no exception.

Hearing the music is like watching the movie. His writing, especially for the characters, is so descriptive that you can hear what the characters may be thinking and feeling. Hedwig's theme, right from the beginning, combines the childlike sound of the celeste with the fleet soaring scales the violins and woodwinds play. These are combined with exotic harmonies that draws the viewer in and perfectly illuminates the mystical quality of the owl in flight.
The abundance of notes that Williams writes on the page is a challenge! I am most looking forward to playing every single one of them to the best of my ability!

Who is your favorite composer and why?
Mozart . Aside from his extraordinary genius, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", which he composed the music for, it is the first piece we/I as a Suzuki teacher teach our students. Hearing and playing it just reminds me that, through music, we are teaching them to cultivate and possess a beautiful heart from a young age.

What sparked your initial interest in music?
My mother "made" me play the violin as a child. However, my parents also owned a classical music LP for children. One of the pieces was "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" from Peer Gynt which I listened to often and liked moving around to--I suppose because it starts off slowly and softly and ends fast, loud and energetically!

What other hidden talents do you have?
I can name the winners, owners, trainers & jockeys of the Kentucky Derby since at least 1940. I have been an avid collector of horse racing memorabilia (programs) since I was a child

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
The Pantry's Cheesecake

How long have you played with the ASO?

What is your favorite movie?
Billy Elliot

What is the last book you read?
A New Earth by Eckart Tolle

Who inspires you?
The students & parents whom I teach and any of the musicians I get to perform with, which certainly includes Maestro Mann and my colleagues in the ASO.

Which four individuals, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
My family. They are ALL great cooks, conversationalists and possess a wonderful sense of humor.

Any other fun facts you'd like to share about yourself?
I play and love racquet sports including racquetball, tennis & squash.

We've loved getting to know a bit more about Dan. To hear him master all of the violin notes that John Williams can dish out, join us for "The Magical Music of Harry Potter," October 7th at 7:30 p.m. and October 8th at 3:00 p.m.

Mid-Week Musician in the Spotlight: Dan Santelices