Daniil A. Zemtsov was born on 28th August 1996 in Moscow (Russian Federation) into a family of musicians. His musical education began even before his birth. Daniil’s mother, a piano teacher, was leading a life filled with musical sounds, and by the age of one, Daniil could already sing individual notes. The first few years of his life, his mother taught him the basics of vocal performance. However, by 2002, she gave him permission to take up the piano, and singing lessons were already not as frequent as before.
Daily piano lessons continued until it was time to apply for a secondary school, and in order to become an eligible candidate for the Whitgift School in South Croydon (England), Daniil had to take up a second instrument. And so, in the autumn of 2006, Daniil began taking weekly viola lessons, so that by the beginning of the next academic year, he would be receiving an all-round education at the prestigious private school. In the United Kingdom, academic subjects, such as mathematics and the English language are of far greater importance than music, which is quite often considered a pastime rather than a craft and trade. Therefore, Daniil thought it useful to apply for the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he would then receive additional lessons in music theory, viola lessons, piano lessons and coaching in orchestral and chamber performance. Between 2011 and 2014, Daniil had an agenda of five days at secondary school and one day at the academy a week, which proved essential in the years to come.
By 2014, Daniil’s secondary education was coming to an end, and it was time to look for an institution of higher education. After successfully passing the entrance examination in April 2014, Daniil received a place at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in the Netherlands. As of September 2014, Daniil was enrolled and started having lessons with his uncle, Mikhail E. Zemtsov, a world-class viola player and pedagogue with a very diverse and active career.
After an eye-opening masterclass with the viola virtuoso, Mikhail B. Kugel, Daniil and his uncle came to the conclusion that it would be wise to continue his studies with the great maestro. And so it was that in the autumn of 2017, Daniil was transferred to the Maastricht Conservatoire in the Province of Limburg. Having completed his undergraduate education, Daniil obtained his bachelor’s degree. In May 2020, it was confirmed that Daniil earned a place at the Conservatoire of Lausanne, and as of September 2020, Daniil shall be studying in the class of his father, Alexander E. Zemtsov, Mikhail’s younger brother and an equally high-class and versatile musician. The course that Daniil will be following is called “Master of Orchestral Performance”.
Furthermore, Daniil has participated in numerous festivals, such as the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands Winter Tour in 2016 and 2017. A collaborative project known as the Gergiev Festival was held between the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague and Codarts. Daniil took part in this project in the autumns of 2016 and 2017 under the baton of maestro Valeri Gergiev himself. Perhaps the most important and inspiring experience in Daniil’s musical life was the Musica Mundi Festival in the summer of 2019 in Waterloo (Belgium), where young and highly talented musicians received an intensive course in solo, chamber and orchestral performance with renowned instrumentalists, such as Leonid Kerbel, Vladimir P. Perlin, Jérôme Pernoo and many others. In July 2016, Daniil became an official member of the Zemtsov Viola Quartet, having replaced his father, Alexander, who decided to quit due to his many other commitments. Since then, the family ensemble has given concerts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and also on the island of Mallorca.
Outside of his studies, Daniil is also a private music editor, arranger and composer. His composition for four violas, “The Circle of Diminished Fifths” was recorded by the Zemtsov Viola Quartet on their debut compact disk, the content of which is also available on Spotify.