Meeting Our New Musicians

In 2016, we welcome 6 new members to the San Antonio Symphony: Daniel Wang and Amy Pikler to the Viola Section,Daniel Taubenheim as Associate Principal Trumpet, Dana Cullen as Fourth Horn, Mark Teplitsky as Principal Flute, and Steve Peterson as Principal Trombone.

Where are you from?

Daniel Wang: I was born in Lake Jackson, Texas. I grew up in Taipei, Taiwan.

Amy Pikler: Glencoe, IL

Daniel Taubenheim: Lake Bluff, IL

Dana Cullen: Reading, PA

Mark Teplitsky: I was born in Jerusalem, Israel, but my entire family is from Russia. We moved to San Diego, California, when I was 12.

Steve Peterson: I am from Lake Orion, Michigan, which is an hour outside of Detroit. I've lived in Houston, Dallas, and I've floated around on a cruise ship for a few years playing in a seven piece band.

Why did you choose your instrument and how old were you when you started?

DW: I started violin when I was 8, and I began playing the viola when I was 16 because my high school orchestra teacher asked if I wanted to try it.

AP: I started playing violin when I was five years old and took viola lessons in high school. I chose the viola because I like its rich and deep tone.

DT: I chose trumpet in 5th grade because it was loud and shiny.

DC: I started the horn when I was 9. My parents helped me pick it because they loved the sound and I stuck with it.

MT: I starting playing flute when I moved to the US. I originally wanted to play cello but we could not afford one in Israel. My mom's favorite instrument was the flute, so she got one for me and it stuck.

SP: I was directed to the trombone in the fifth grade because I had long arms. I originally wanted to play the saxophone, but I've ended up loving the trombone.

Where did you study?

DW: Indiana University for my undergrad and Rice for grad school.

AP: I graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Michigan in 2015.

DT: I went to Juilliard for my Bachelors and Rice University for Masters degree. I finished my graduate studies this past spring.

DC: I went to the Curtis Institute of Music for my undergrad and Rice for graduate studies.

MT: I attended Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles and Rice University in Houston.

SP: I went to school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for my undergraduate degree, and then after a few years, I went back for a Masters at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

What other languages do you speak?

DW: Chinese

AP: I studied French throughout high school and took Italian, German, and Latin in college. In summer 2015, I was fortunate to play in Orchestre de la Francophonie and took advantage of this opportunity to practice my French.

DT: I don't fluently speak another language, but I love Latin.

DC: I speak a little Spanish!

MT: Because of my home environment and background I speak English, Russian, and Hebrew. I really enjoyed studying French for five years, but I'm definitely not fluent!

SP: Unfortunately, I only learned how to say "Hello," "How are you" and conversational words in other languages like Polish, Russian, Afrikaans, and Spanish.

What are your favorite things about San Antonio, or things that you're looking forward to exploring?

DW: I love the food and people in San Antonio. I love the small town feel of San Antonio, even though it's a big city.

AP: My favorite things about the city of San Antonio are all of its attractions. Downtown San Antonio is home to the Alamo and Riverwalk. It is also great to bike and walk around the other old Spanish missions to learn more about San Antonio's rich cultural history.

DT: My favorite thing so far is the food! I'm looking forward to discovering some biking trails and every coffee shop I can find.

DC: I really like the Riverwalk, and I'm looking forward to exploring the Tower of the Americas. I also love the Tex-Mex here!

MT: I've only been living in San Antonio for four weeks now, but I've noticed that within a one to two hour drive in any direction of the city there are caverns, rivers, cities, beaches, natural parks, countrysides, and lots of barbecue places. I am really excited to explore all of these attractions.

SP: My favorite thing about San Antonio so far is that there is a great professional orchestra here that pays me to make music! Apart from that, I've enjoyed Rosella's coffee shop and the Pearl district.

What are some of your hobbies away from work at the SAS?

DW: Reading, listening to music, spending time with friends

AP: Biking, hiking, traveling, and studying foreign languages. Incidentally, I play the recorder and have a strong interest in both early and new music.

DT: Biking, golf, cooking, espressos, and sunny weather.

DC: Reading and yoga.

MT: I like playing chess, watching movies, driving, listening to music, and daydreaming about getting a dog someday.

SP: I am very passionate about video; I have been a short format documentary filmmaker for a few years, and I also like to make fun projects on my YouTube channel @thepetersonproject. I also compose the music for my projects. Apart from that, I like to go road biking, running, make tacos, and I'm desperately trying to get back into reading.