Dan studied under the guidance of the celebrated concert guitarist John Mills. He also undertook masterclasses with John Williams, David Russell, Simon Dinnigan, Robert Spencer, Ray Burley, Stephen Dodgson and many others. He won the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Annual Year Prize on four occasions alongside the composition prize, the Ernest and Doris Haigh Memorial prize and a silver medal from The Worshipful Company of Musicians. He graduated with a first class honours degree and a Masters degree with distinction.
As a soloist, his performing career has taken him to many countries including Hungary, Brunei, Japan and France. He appeared in Saint David’s Hall Cardiff for a performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and has also toured with Welsh National Opera. He completed a trio tour with John and Cobie Mills in South West France in 2016 and is fortunate enough to have performed in duo with great players such as Ray Burley.
Dan is one of a rare breed of musicians who has an in-depth knowledge of many styles. He is an accomplished jazz guitarist and has taught jazz theory at national conservatoire level. He also plays the baroque guitar, having performed with many consorts and touring with The Consort de Danse Baroque acting as an accompanist for summer schools and tours.
A prolific composer, arranger and writer Dan, has composed and directed music for eight RWCMD plays. Of his many works for solo guitar, his Tango Laurentais won the Free-Scores.com composition competition in 2014 and the Indaba Tango Competition in 2016. His piece for guitar ensemble Icebreakdance was premiered by the Cambridge Guitar Orchestra in 2003. He has composed extensively for guitar solo and the guitar in chamber music. Commissioned by the High Wycombe Music Centre Guitar Consort, Dan has composed a series for five guitars beginning with the prize-winning Perigord en Hiver.
To relax, Dan enjoys arranging music and creative writing. His arrangements of Three Breton Folk Songs for four guitars are published by Lathkill Music and other arrangements for guitar duo are published by Corda Music. He presently arranges much music for performance by mixed-ability ensembles and scores and are available for instant download at his online shop.
Whilst working at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Dan taught several visually-impaired students. In 2008, HRH Prince Charles visited the RWCMD and made a special request to meet Dan and learn more about this project. Later, Dan wrote and published an audio tutor, In Touch With Guitar, a five CD set. In 2009, to fantastic reviews, his tutor book Reading Jazz Chords, A Guide for Guitarists was published. He also saw a need amongst his classical guitar students for help with sight reading and in 2014 composed a book of 160 sight-reading exercises Prima Vista published by ESG Music. He taught and performed at The Stage and Festival Guitare en France in 2012 working alongside some of the world’s finest players and teachers including Eleftheria Kotzia and Gerard Abiton.
In addition to his performing, composing and writing career, Dan is passionate about sharing his love for music and the guitar. He taught at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Academic, Guitar and Junior departments until 2010, when he moved to France with his family. He continues to return as a visiting tutor and examiner. He led musical activities at Bordeaux International School and taught guitar at l’Ecole de Musique de Saint Laurent des Hommes and L’Ecole Municipale de Musique in Coutras, Gironde. He now teaches at The Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow, Scotland and Ardvreck School in Crieff, Scotland.
Dan spends his time living between in Saint Laurent des Hommes, a small village in South West France and Perthshire in Scotland, UK, with his wife Kirsty, their two youngest children – Florence and Sam. In 2019, he published a memoir of living in a quirky French village. Extracting Goats from Jean-Claude’s Kitchen has received fantastic reviews at both Amazon and Goodreads. He is a planning a second book, based on his observations of performing in care and nursing homes – an activity which remains very close to his heart.
Beyond his musical talents Dan’s poise, professionalism and more have earned him consistent respect and admiration from musical collaborators, audiences and students. His natural, warm stage presence and creative musical executions combine with a sense of his own personality and charm that readily appeals to all generations.