At age 9, Daniel Dorsey started playing the cello. At 17, he's performing on National Public Radio's From The Top showcasing young classically trained musicians.
The St. Xavier High School senior performs "Song of the Black Swan" by Heitor Villa-Lobos accompanied by pianist Jacob Miller at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, on WGUC-FM.
Host Peter Dugan praised his performance by saying: "You played it with intimacy, vulnerability and it was really a touching performance."
Dorsey was inspired at age 9 after seeing cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform in concert. In 2017, he won a concerto competition and played a solo with the Dayton Philharmonic for middle school and elementary school students.
"Up to that point, I had never really played in front of younger kids. I had mostly played for judges in competitions," Dorsey says. "After I was done, all the kids stood up and started cheering, and I wasn't really expecting that. I could just tell they were really inspired."
Dorsey is a recipient of a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, which presents up to $10,000 to help offset the costs of studying classical music at a high level. The one-time scholarships are given to about 20 young artists ages 8 to 18 each year.
"I want to spend it on a new cello," Dorsey says on the show. "My teachers have always told me that I've been improving so much that I should get a new cello because my level is increasing."
Dugan studies with Dr. Sarah Kim and Alan Rafferty through the Cincinnati Young Artists Cello Studio, according to his From The Top bio. He also enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking and doing volunteer work.
John Kiesewetter's reporting is independent. Cincinnati Public Radio only edits his articles for style and grammar.