Hello! My name is Daniela Rivera and I am a 23 year old viola student from Costa Rica. Last April I went to an audition / class trip to Europe. Thanks to all the hours of work and sacrifice, I recieved the wonderful opportunity to continue with my viola studies at ArtEZ Conservatorium in Zwolle, Netherlands.
My love for music started when I was very little, thanks to my father, who is a flutist and a music teacher, as well as my biggest musical inspiration. I started playing the viola at the age of 15 in a social/musical program in my country, called Sinem (National System of Music Education). Sinem’s mission is to give music education to children and teenagers who live in places in social risk. I continued my education at the pre college program of the University of Costa Rica and the National Institute of Music of Costa Rica. I have played in one of the 3 professional orchestras of Costa Rica since 2015 as well as in many youth orchestras. I have attended several music courses and festivals in my country, and also in the United States (Sewanee Summer Music Festival) and England (British Isles Music Festival).
My experiences abroad have been enriching and life changing. They have encouraged me to continue my studies in another country. It has also been a dream for me to live in Europe since I was a child. I want to be out of my comfort zone and grow as a musician and human being, I want to speak other languages and meet new cultures.
On the other hand, my experiences as a viola student in my country have not always been the best. Some teachers thought I was not young and talented enough to become a violist, so they closed the doors of the institution I was attending. I had no teacher and no music school for one and a half years. Although this was a sad and discouraging event in my music education, I never stopped practicing. Instead, I prepared by myself to audtion for college in Europe and received an offer to study in ArtEZ with a very good viola teacher (Julia Dinerstein).
Moreover, The Netherlands is a country I really want to live in and know better. I am fascinated by its cities, landscapes, their very open minded culture, and their high standards of quality of life. It is a dream for me to live in a place where you can walk in the street without feeling insecure, where you can ride a bike almost everywhere, and where you can take a bus or a train and get to see other cities, orchestras, and cultures in just a couple of hours.
These are some of the reasons this opportunity means a world to me. I still need some help to pay the costs of room and board. I am paying everything by myself and it is very expensive for a student! Every help is graciously received!! I hope to give it back in some way 🙂