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Musical World

Nicholas Daniel

  • Conductor
  • Oboist

Biography

Nicholas Daniel: Educated at Salisbury Cathedral School, the Purcell School for gifted young musicians and at the Royal Academy of Music, Nicholas Daniel studied with Irene Pragnell, George Caird, Janet Craxton and Celia Nicklin. At the age of 18, he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, going on to win major prizes at several other competitions, including the International Double Reed Society competition in Graz, and the Munich International Oboe Competition.
Nicholas Daniel has been heard in recital on every continent, and has been a concerto soloist with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Seoul Philharmonic, the Britten Sinfonia, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the Israel Sinfonietta, the Netherlands and Bavarian Radio Orchestras, the Orquestro Sinfonico di Rio, the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the Budapest Strings and all the BBC orchestras, under such conductors as Sir Roger Norrington, Oliver Knussen, Richard Hickox, Sakary Oramo, Tadaaki Otaka and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
He has appeared regularly at the BBC Promenade Concerts, where his concerts have included the world premiere of John Woolrich's oboe concertoand Thea Musgrave's Helios, a work written especially for him. He made his conducting debut at the Proms in 2004 in the chamber series with the Britten Sinfonia. An active chamber musician, Nicholas Daniel is a founder member of the Haffner Wind Ensemble and has enjoyed long and fruitful collaboration with pianist Julius Drake and the Maggini and Lindsay string quartets.
Nicholas Daniel has been an important force in the creation and performance of new repertoire for oboe. He has premiered works by composers including Henri Dutilleux, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir Michael Tippett, Nigel Osborne and John Woolrich. Composers such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, John Tavener, Oliver Knussen, Michael Berkeley and David Matthews have written pieces especially for him.
With the English Chamber Orchestra, he gave the world premiere of the orchestral version of Britten's Temporal Suite at the 1994 Aldeburgh Festival; and with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra the world premiere of Thea Musgrave's Helios at the St. Magnus Festival. Currently, John Tavener is composing a major work for oboe and strings for Nicholas Daniel as well as a song cycle for oboe, tenor and piano, Jonathan Harvey is writing a concerto and Thea Musgrave is writing a double concerto for oboe, percussion and orchestra for the BBC Proms that will feature Mr. Daniel and Evelyn Glennie.
Conducting is now absorbing an increasing amount of Nicholas Daniel's time and he has conducted and directed a number of leading orchestras including the English Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, City of London Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia, Budapest Strings (Hungary), Camerata Roman (Sweden) and Kristiansand Chamber Orchestra (Norway). Recent performances include conducting and performing engagements in Melbourne, at the Aldeburgh Festival, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sakary Oramo, with the Leicester Symphony Orchestra in Leicester and Paris (Bruckner's 4th Symphony), concerts with the Haffner Wind Ensemble including at the Wigmore Hall, concerts conducting and directing the Britten Sinfonia with pianist Rolf Hind, a master course near Venice, conducting at the Philharmonie in Berlin and six concerts conducting and playing with the Britten Sinfonia to celebrate the Michael Tippett centenary.
Nicholas Daniel was Artistic Director of the Osnabrück Chamber Music Days from 2001-2004. In 2002 he was appointed Associate Artistic Director of the Britten Sinfonia, and is Artistic Director of the lsle of Man International Oboe Competition and of the Leicester International Music Festival. He is a member of the UK Arts Council in the East of England where he makes his home. A committed teacher, Nicholas Daniel was appointed Professor of Oboe and Chamber Music at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama at age 23.
He served as Professor of Oboe at the Indiana University School of Music from 1997-99, and is now a Fellow of both the Guildhall School and the Royal Academy of Music. He was appointed Prince Consort Professor at the Royal College of Music, London from 1999-2002 and in 2004 took up the post of Professor at the Trossingen Musikhochschule in Germany.
Mr. Daniel can be heard on more than 30 recordings for such labels as Virgin Classics, Chandos, BMG Conifer and Leman Classics, most recently in Bliss's Oboe Quintet on Naxos with the award winning Maggini Quartet, in the music of John Tavener with Fretwork on Harmonia Mundi USA, and with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Richard Hickox in concertos by Michael and Lennox Berkeley, which recording was BBC Record Review's Disc of the Week. Mr Daniel plays Loree instruments supplied by Crowthers of Canterbury in association with Loree, Paris.