for the Musicians' Portrait Project
Steven Dann was born in Vancouver in 1953. As a violist, his foremost teacher and mentor was the late Lorand Fenyves. Other influences include William Primrose, Robert Pikler and Bruno Giuranna as well as Zoltan Szekely and other members of the Hungarian String Quartet with whom Steven spent five summers studying the string quartet repertoire.
Upon graduation from the University of Toronto, Steven was named Principal Viola of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. He subsequently held the same position with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Vancouver Symphony and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He has also been a guest principal with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Paavo Berglund and Pierre Boulez.
As a complement to an active chamber music career, he teaches viola and chamber music at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music and is the Coordinator of the chamber music programs at the Domaine Forget in Quebec and the National Arts Centre’s Summer Music Institute in Ottawa.
Steven has recorded on Sony, Naxos, CBC Records, Marquis Classics, Centrediscs, RCA Red Seal and ATMA Classique. Upcoming recording projects include a disc of French viola repertoire and one of contemporary viola works for ATMA Classique, and the continuation of a project with his trio, the Esterhazy Machine, which, in the next three years will result in a complete set of the baryton trios of Haydn on original instruments for the NAXOS label -- twenty-one CDs in all.
Steven lives in Toronto with his wife, the prominent Arts administrator, Loie Fallis. He has three children.
He plays a viola of Joseph Gagliano, circa 1780.