Artist Spotlight: Dani Simandl

Anna Hainze

While many of Lawrence’s musicians got their start in the music world through parental coercion, the story behind the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra co-concertmaster’s big beginnings in the business is a bit different.
Although originally a pianist, everything changed the day Dani Simandl heard “Boil Them Cabbage Down” at an elementary school talent show. Not Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” or Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto in D Minor,” but Anonymous’ inspiring “Boil Them Cabbage Down.” Simandl admitted, “Once I learned to play ‘Boil Them Cabbage Down’ we all knew there was no turning back.”
And she’s still going strong on the violin, even though a brief stint with the cello sidetracked her at one point. Luckily, membership in her high school’s fiddle club and the subsequent gigs at such events as the 2003 Speedskating World Cup got her back on track.
Simandl has since had opportunities that led her to amazing experiences, such as traveling to China for two weeks at the Beijing International Music Festival this past summer.
When asked why she chose Lawrence out of all of the countless conservatories in the nation, Simandl responded, “Lawrence’s community of loving, respectful, and supportive people has been the biggest factor in helping me find my way thus far.”
Looking to the future, she noted, “Because you can rarely control your life once you’ve let music take it over, I will just let the music take me where it wants. And hopefully it wants me to live in something other than a box and eat at least once a day in the future.