A quote from Dan...
“While my love for classical music has influenced my own writing, I’ve always been one to improvise. Reflecting back to my early piano studies, I once performed a recital in which I had to play J.S. Bach’s English Suite in G Minor. Ill prepared in memorization, I forgot most of the entire final gigue movement. Rather than take an early exit from the stage, I improvised the passage in a “Bach a la Chadburn” style. I hold that recital experience as a defining moment, in that it helped to unlock my own creative voice.”
Sweeping melodies, resonating chords and rich textures…these are the trademarks of Dan Chadburn, a composer/pianist who invests the New Age/Contemporary Instrumental genre with a uniquely passionate sound. Deeply versed in both classical and modern traditions, Dan is a master of improvisation — the art of creating in the moment, in response to the stimulus of one’s immediate environment and inner feelings.
A native of Oregon, Dan began studying classical piano with Maxine Martin at the age of nine. Several times in junior high and high school, Dan was selected as an Oregon Music Teacher’s Association syllabus winner, giving him the experience of performing in recitals on the state level. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at Pacific Lutheran University, where he studied with Dr. Calvin Knapp.
Following three national tours as a pianist and singer/songwriter, and the release of three albums in the Contemporary Christian genre, Dan moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in the film scoring program at U.C.L.A. Soon he was scoring for television and working as a pianist and session musician.
Wanting to further expand his musical vision, Dan eventually moved to London to study electroacoustic composition with two pioneers in the field, Denis Smalley and Simon Emmerson. “I was very grateful for the opportunity to learn from these two masters in the genre and grow as a composer.” Considered by some to be on the outskirts of avant-garde, electroacoustic music is commonly void of traditional instruments and melody. Dan earned his Master of Music in Electroacoustic Composition from London’s City University.
Since returning to the United States, Dan has continued to compose, record, and perform.
Dan has released six albums in the new age/contemporary instrumental genre:
Solo Piano (1998)
Whispers the Falling Snow (2013)
Keys of Light (2015)
Beyond Words (2016)
Several of Dan’s albums have debuted in the Top 10 of Zone Music Reporter’s Top 100 chart, the industry standard for measuring radio airplay worldwide across multiple genres. Additionally, he and his albums have received multiple award nominations from One World Music Radio, Enlightened Piano Radio Network, Zone Music Reporter, WAMA and others. Dan’s Keys of Light appeared on the first ballot for the 58th Grammy Awards in the category of “Best New Age Album.”
In addition to his own releases, Dan has been featured (alongside other pianists such as Suzanne Ciani, Spencer Brewer, Robin Spielberg, John Coe, and Teddy Guerrant) on several compilation recordings produced for charitable causes. These include The Heart Aid Project (benefiting the victims of the 9/11 tragedy and their families) and Proud and Peaceful (benefiting GALA Choruses). Dan’s single, Promise of Hope, was written and recorded for a philanthropic program run by Choice Hotels International, benefiting The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and Metropolitan Baltimore.
Because Dan’s music has been deeply inspired by the people and events that shape our world, the profits generated by the sale of several tracks from Dan’s albums are donated to specific charitable organizations, including The Sitar Arts Center in Washington, DC (“Peter’s Theme” from Nocturnes),
The National Family Resiliency Center (“Anne’s Lullaby” from Nocturnes), The Tyler Clementi Foundation (“Tyler’s Tribute” from Keys of Light), Matthew Shepard Foundation (“Matthew” from Keys of Light), Whitman-Walker Health (“Paul’s Prayer” from Keys of Light), and OneOrlando Fund (“Tears of Angels” from Beyond Words).
Past performance venues have included Carnegie Hall (New York), Symphony Hall (Boston) and The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC). More recently, Dan’s performances with his husband and musical collaborator, Tom Nichols, have benefited various charities in Washington, DC, New York, and Oregon.
Tom and Dan reside in the Washington, DC area with their dog, Kaly.