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Major Player: SFCM Grad wins big at Fort Worth Symphony

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SFCM graduate Tim Daniels has earned a spot as Solo English Horn at the Fort Worth Symphony. The musician shares his unique audition process, the very special way he found out he won, and how SFCM played a part in his career.

October 1, 2021 by Mark Taylor

By Mark Taylor

One SFCM star player is headed to the Lone Star State. English horn and oboe player Tim Daniels will soon be joining the Fort Worth Symphony as Solo English Horn. “I could not be more excited to begin my journey with the wonderful colleagues of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra!” Daniels said, “The orchestra has a rich history and is poised to continue its excellence for many years, and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of that.”

For Daniels the audition process was fairly typical, but there were some exciting parts, “The really cool element from this audition was that in the final round, I got to play a trio alongside the current oboists in the orchestra. This helped them evaluate not only the quality of my playing but also how it felt to play next to me.”


In addition to several distinguished certifications including a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, Daniels earned a Performance Studies Diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2019, working with Professor Eugene Izotov. “My education at SFCM was instrumental in helping me win this job and move forward in my career,” Daniels said.  

“Working with the incredible faculty—especially my teacher and mentor Eugene Izotov—helped set a standard of excellence that prepared me for the rigors of the audition process and gave me an intimate knowledge of the music I was required to play,” Daniels added, “I also must mention Russ DeLuna, whose guidance on the English horn specifically has been so helpful over the years. Thank you both!”

At SFCM faculty member Eugene Izotov shared words of salutations, “From the first phrase he played in our lesson it was obvious that I was hearing a genuine, passionate, and a bold artistic presence that only needed the right opportunity to blossom. I am extremely happy for Tim and proud of our work together at SFCM. I know that his musical and personal qualities will be a wonderful addition to the Fort Worth Symphony orchestra,” Izotov said. 

As for the special way Daniels found out? 

“Once all of the candidates had completed the audition process, the personnel manager brought me back to the audition room where I was greeted with applause by the committee and Maestro Robert Spano, who then offered me the position,” Daniels said. 

Previously Tim Daniels performed with the Kansas City Symphony, San Francisco, New World, and Memphis Symphonies as well as the Metropolitan Opera and IRIS Orchestra.

Daniels will begin performing with the Fort Worth Symphony at the earliest agreed start date. 

The FWSO audition was also unique in that the two of the final candidates for the position were both SFCM graduates including Tim Daniels and Ben Brogadir.

Learn more about the Oboe and Brass program at SFCM.