We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Suk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think there is always some risk in everything you do, especially if it’s something new. My life has been constant:
Going to unknown places
Learning new languages
Meeting a total stranger
Starting a new career
Starting a new relationship
Everything I did was an adventure, but for other people, it was a risk.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My family came to America in the late ’70s, and till then, I was trained as a classical pianist(my mother was a professional pianist). When I entered high school, I joined the jazz band and furthered my interest in blues music. After high school, I was playing with the various heavy metal group as a guitarist and singer. In my 2nd year of college, I began studying as a classical singer and went to Italy without knowing any Italian. After finishing my conservatory, my career started as an operatic tenor in Italy. I have studied the grand tradition of Opera and was fortunate to have studied with many famous old-school maestros. I worked and lived in Italy for 13 years. Upon my return to America, I decided to change my career to become a conductor. I started as a choir conductor and to an orchestra conductor. After years of study and career behind me, I had a chance to take a normal road to become a “professional conductor,” which is working as an assistant for a renowned conductor. But, I took an adventurous route to create a new performing arts company, The Dream Orchestra and Young Artists Orchestra. Everyone around me said it’s an impossible dream. Well, next year we will celebrate our 10th anniversary.
Today I create concerts, produce variety of performing art productions and run a company. I build orchestra and mentor youth. I am an artist who has lived and experienced many cultures and people. I have lived and worked where there were racism and ignorant. But, in the end, everywhere I was, I have met beautiful people and made loyal friends. I’ve learned along with my career that music is to serve people. Music is an art form that can unite people.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take my friend to: small contemporary art galleries and restaurants in Venice beach. Great Chinese food in Monterey Park, Night out in Korea town. A day Trip to Santa Barbara, and wine country. Downtown for a concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, visit to Broad museum and dinner at little Tokyo. Play few rounds of Golf surrounding LA County and beach cities.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shut out to my parents, who raised me like a wild mustang. They have taught me how to be a free thinker and have no fear. I want to thank Injoa Kim, Daniel Ko, June Lee, and Kahm Yoon for their support throughout my musical career. My gratitude to my wife Sofia for her love and trust in every step of my career. Shut-out million thanks to the Heart of Los Angeles and Tony Brown for giving me a new adventure to build a new orchestra.