Meet our staff!

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Daniel Kopp
Artistic Director

Daniel Kopp initially moved to Texas from St. Louis, Missouri, completing a Bachelor of Music in cello performance at Rice University. Pleased with the warm winters and breakfast tacos, he next found himself in Austin as a graduate student at the University of Texas. This pursuit in music has led to some truly memorable experiences, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall of Minneapolis, Powell Hall, Aspen, and Kneisel Hall. Over the past few years, Daniel had the privilege of performing as principal cellist of the New York String Orchestra Seminar and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, playing masterpieces by some of his favorite composers: Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert.

Daniel’s previous teachers are Bion Tsang, Norman Fischer, Cathie Lehr-Ramos, and Mary Lou Gotman. In addition, he’s had the honor of studying chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, and Miro Quartets, as well as the Beaux Arts Trio. When not playing cello, he can be found teaching and conducting with the UT String Project, watching his hometown Cardinals play baseball, listening to Beethoven string quartets, and falling asleep to a good book.

 

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marisa ishikawa
director of development
CO-director of COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Marisa Ishikawa is currently a DMA student at the University of Colorado Boulder. Marisa was born in Boulder, Colorado and began playing the violin at the age of three. Between 2011 and 2015, Marisa earned at CU Boulder a Bachelor of Music with Highest Honors from the College of Music under the instruction of Charles Wetherbee. Additionally, she received a Bachelor of Science: Accounting with High Distinction from the Leeds School of Business. During this time, Marisa won various awards, including the Don and Maria Johnson Music Scholarship and the PricewaterhouseCoopers Accounting Scholarship. From 2015 to 2017, Marisa studied with Brian Lewis at the University of Texas Austin, where she received the Starling Distinguished Violinist Scholarship and earned a Master in Music.   

Throughout her education, Marisa has worked with numerous artists, such as Alexander Kerr, Rachel Barton Pine, Glenn Dicterow, Naoko Tanaka, Ani Kavafian, James Buswell, Peter Otto, and Stephen Rose. As a chamber musician, Marisa has studied with the Takács String Quartet and the Miró String Quartet. Marisa has soloed with the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestra, the Austin Civic Orchestra, and the National Repertory Orchestra, and has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra. In August 2018, Marisa performed at the International Double Reed Society in Granada, Spain, and in January 2019 she will perform with the Carpe Diem String Quartet in Carnegie Hall.

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sophie verhaeghe
director of operations
CO-DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

A native of Colorado, Sophie Verhaeghe began playing the violin at age 3 and made her solo debut at the age of 12. Performances in her early career took her to Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. Summer programs have taken Sophie all over the place: she has been a fellow at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Talis Festival and Academy in Switzerland, and the National Repertory Orchestra, where she was a featured soloist.

As a chamber musician, Sophie has collaborated with members of orchestras and chamber ensembles all over the world as well as clarinetist Dimitri Ashkenazy and pianist Anton Nel. Her orchestral interests have led her to winning a job with the Austin Symphony Orchestra in 2017. She has also performed with the San Antonio and Houston Symphonies. A passionate educator as well as performer, Sophie is on the faculty of Texas Lutheran University and maintains her own private studio in Austin.

Now based and enjoying breakfast tacos in Austin, Sophie holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Boston University (where she braved the historic snowy winter of 2015), and the University of Texas at Austin. Her previous teachers include Aaron Berofsky, Bayla Keyes, and William Fedkenheuer. In her spare time, Sophie enjoys cooking, yoga, running, and watching college football.

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abigail dreher
executive assistant

Abigail Dreher is currently studying at Lynn Conservatory under Ralph Fielding, pursuing her Professional Performance Certificate. She studied with Dr. Katherine Lewis and received her BM and BME from Illinois State University and her MM in viola performance under Professor Erika Eckert and Geraldine Walther, at the University of Colorado Boulder. Miss Dreher has studied at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Aspen Summer Music Festival and Banff Centre Evolution Quartet Programs where she worked and collaborated with the Eybler, JACK and Parker quartets. She has presented research and lecture recitals for the American String Teacher Association Conference and the American Viola Society Festival in L.A. She has held principal and section positions with the Boulder Symphony and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and regularly subs with the Boulder Philharmonic. Miss Dreher is also an avid chamber musician, performing regularly with her quartet, Hexum, and will be attending the Banff Centre again in the summer of 2020.

She also enjoys teaching, and helped direct and lead in the Nationally Awarded Illinois State University String Project and ASTA Chapter. Miss Dreher currently mentors viola sections, leading an excerpts course and coaches chamber music as adjunct faculty at the North Broward Preparatory School and the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts.