Meet our staff!


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. This past year, 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 currently studies with Bion Tsang, and his previous teachers are 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.



marisa ishikawa
director of development

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.


sophie verhaeghe
director of operations

A native of Colorado, Sophie Verhaeghe began playing the violin at age 3 and made her solo debut at the age of 12. She has performed in 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 the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Firelands Symphony Orchestra, Cordova Quartet, and Latitude 49, as well as clarinetist Dimitri Ashkenazy and pianist Anton Nel. She has been a member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra since 2017 and has also played as a contracted player with the San Antonio Symphony. A passionate educator as well as performer, Sophie is on the faculty of Texas Lutheran University and maintains her own private studio in Austin.

Sophie holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Boston University, 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.