About Nicholas Daniel
Oboist Nicholas Daniel is among his country's foremost players on his instrument. A noted educator who has been active in Britain, the U.S., and Germany, he has commissioned and performed numerous new works for the oboe.
Daniel was born on January 9, 1962. His first musical experiences came as a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral, and he attended the cathedral's school and then the Purcell School, receiving a rich musical education. Daniel made a major splash by winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 1980. He attended the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with Janet Craxton and Celia Nicklin, and then went on for private lessons with clarinetist Anthony Pay and with musician and music writer Hans Keller. His career became established early with a debut at the BBC Proms, and he has since appeared as a soloist with major orchestras in many countries. Daniel is especially notable for the large number of works he has commissioned and performed, many of them from top composers, including Harrison Birtwistle, Thea Musgrave, and, in 2010, the Oboe Concerto of James MacMillan. He is a founding member and principal oboist of the Britten Sinfonia, with which he has often appeared as a soloist, and which he has also directed; he also co-founded the Haffner Wind Ensemble and, beginning in 1981, appeared as one half of a duo with pianist Julius Drake. He has also performed with the Carducci and Vogler string quartets. He is also the principal oboist of the Camerata Pacifica in California and has served as the music director of the Leicester International Music Festival in Britain.
Daniel has made more than 25 recordings, many of them of new works or of neglected oboe repertory. His Five Italian Oboe Concertos album of 1999 featured Baroque works by Vivaldi and lesser-known composers. Among the contemporary works he has recorded are those by Musgrave, on the album Chamber Works for Oboe (2013). In 2021, he was heard on the Signum Classics label in a performance of the chamber work Heartfelt by Roxanna Panufnik. Daniel's activities as an educator have taken him from London, where he served as professor of oboe at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for ten years, to the U.S., where he began teaching oboe and conducting at the Indiana University School of Music in 1997. He returned to the Royal College of Music in London and then, in 2004, moved to the Musikhochschule Trossingen in Germany, where he remains on the faculty. He also serves as the music director of Triorca, an organization open to young musicians from Serbia, Germany, and the U.K. Daniel's later career has been enriched by several prestigious awards, including the Queen's Medal for Music in 2011, a BBC Magazine Premiere Award for his 2016 recording of oboe concertos by Vaughan Williams and MacMillan, and designation as Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in 2020. ~ James Manheim