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Daniil Margulis - Double Bass


1- Who was your first music teacher?

My first music teacher was my father Sergey Margulis who is the principal Double Bass player of Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara/Turkey and my first Double Bass teacher was Zurab Tsitsuashvili who is also a member of the Double Bass section of the same orchestra.

2- Is your family musical?

My family is quite musical I would say. As I mentioned my Father is also a Double Bass player and is the person who inspired me to take up the instrument when I was 5 years old. My Mother also was a pianist in high school but later turned to medicine.

3- You studied at the Bilkent University music school between 2005-2014 in Ankara-Turkey. How do you remember this time?

My time at the Bilkent Music School was very memorable. After all, I was introduced to music there. I had wonderful teachers there that have taught me the basics of what I know today. I made some very unique friendships at the school that carry on strongly even today. I definitely had many first musical experiences during my time at the school such as first performance experience, first orchestral experience, first chamber music experience and many more. I am very proud to have been a student there and have very fond memories of my time there.

4- You graduated from the Yehudi Menuhin School in 2020 as a student of Caroline Emery. How do you remember this master?

I began my studies with Caroline Emery in 2015 when I joined the Menuhin School. It is fair to say that ever since she has transformed my playing and my musicianship. Thanks to her, I found myself able to create sounds that I thought I would never be able to on the Double Bass. After spending 5 years with her at the Menuhin School, I knew that I still had much to learn from her and so I opted to continue my studies with her at the Royal College of Music. She is a fantastic teacher that has so much to offer to her students.

5- You won the grand prize at the 8th international Caspi Art Competition. What pieces did you play and how were your feelings at the time?

For the 8th International Caspi Art International Competition, I performed Max Bruch's "Kol Nidrei". By the time I recorded the performance to send to the competition, I had played the piece multiple times to audiences around the UK and so I had an extra layer of confidence playing this particular piece. After I learned that I have won the competition, I remember thinking how much difference it makes to do something with confidence. Since then, I have tried to prepare myself the same way for my performances. That was the biggest thing I took from that competition.

6- What are your fondest musical memories, privately or performing?

My fondest musical memories are probably those of my early days as a Musician. I remember having my first Double Bass lessons in 2005 and it makes me so happy to look back and see the journey I had so far. Of course joining the Yehudi Menuhin School was a big moment in my life and I am especially glad to have met some seriously talented musician friends whom I am glad to be around today. I also love travelling so whenever I travel to other countries for performances, those concerts abroad always have a special place in my memories.

7- How often do your practice?

I try to practice at least 3 hours a day and I think 3 hours is the most efficient amount of time that one can achieve positive results. With Double Bass it is often physically tiring to go beyond 3 hours but of course sometimes it is needed to go beyond. Since I joined the Royal College of Music I found myself busy with other projects like Orchestra and Chamber Music which I love and so I don't feel like I'm missing out on practice when I'm busy with those kinds of projects. I definitely aim to do no less than 2 hours of playing at any given day.

8- Would you consider teaching music in the future?

I absolutely would love to be a teacher in the future. With the teaching I have done so far I already learnt an incredible amount and can only imagine how rewarding it must be seeing a student succeed. I want to learn as much as I can throughout my studies so that one day I can hopefully pass on my knowledge to a generation of Double Bass players.

9- Who would your ideal accompanist be, living or dead?

My ideal accompanist would be someone who challenges my ideas and adds something of their own into my playing. Music is a collaboration most of the time and therefore in my opinion it is healthy to discuss ideas. I have been very lucky to have met a couple of accompanists like that and hopefully you can see me play with them in the future.

10- How do you balance your time commitments in terms of study, research, performance? What are the biggest sacrifices?

Even though student life can get very hectic at times with deadlines, performances and of course practice, I have somewhat found it easy to distribute my time on what needs to be done. As long as I am spending my time on something productive I don't feel like I'm sacrificing anything, even if I can be doing something much more fun. I think the key is to plan ahead and train up the skill of concentration.

11- What advice would you give to music students at the start of their journey?

My advice to a new music student will be to learn how to be patient. Even though it can be frustrating at times, patience combined with hard work is definitely a key to success.

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submission June 2021