Dan West

Bass Trombone

Since moving to London in 2005, bass trombonist Daniel West has established himself as a busy & versatile freelance musician. Born in Canada, Dan studied at the University of North Texas and Royal Academy of Music before embarking on a career which has seen him work with all of London’s major orchestras, as well as many leading orchestras around the UK & Europe. Frequently recorded in sessions for film & television, Dan is also a prominent contrabass trombonist. In 2015 Dan joined the orchestra in the long-running production of Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End and had his first child, a boy named Evan, with his wife Lorna.

What is your favourite Septura piece to play?

The Prokofiev suite of four Pieces for Piano, Op. 12, is really fun to perform. Simon’s arrangement is a brilliant advert for the brass septet medium; Prokofiev’s variance of moods & character are enhanced greatly by the kaleidoscopic range of colours offered by the seven brass instruments. Compared to the original version for piano it’s like switching from an old black-and-white TV to the latest brand new High-Definition model.

I’m also a big fan of the suite from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Again, it’s a pleasure to perform and a fantastic arrangement by Matt.

What would you do if you weren’t a bass trombone player?

When I was in school I looked into becoming a sports journalist, and back then I liked to dream that I could have become a play-by-play commentator for my hometown ice hockey team, the Calgary Flames. I was advised that it was quite a difficult industry to break into and would require years of study, auditioning and freelance work before finding lucrative employment – so I became a musician instead!

Your favourite Septura moment?

Performing Shostakovich’s 8th String Quartet in the beautiful church in Lieksa, Finland this past summer was incredibly rewarding, and the reaction we invoked from the audience was something I will remember for a long time. Nearly as memorable as the late-night swim in the chilly lake nearby…

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