Dan has had to privilege to collaborate with some of today's greatest composers including John Adams, Krzysztof Penderecki, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jennifer Higdon, Kaija Saariaho, Mason Bates, Bright Sheng, John Corigliano, and Philip Glass. In 2020, he commissioned 15 composers to write solo violin pieces based on paintings in his collection; for more information on the commissions, click the events tab above. He's performed all over the world with legendary conductors such as Valerie Gergiev, Sir Neville Marinner, Erich Kunzel, Gerard Schwartz and Loren Maazel. Before you get too excited, keep in mind that he's performed with some of the world's worst conductors, too. In 2011, he participated on a concertmaster panel for the Conductor's Guild Annual Conference in San Francisco, and in 2015 he served as an expert witness in a court case, discussing common violinist injuries.
In addition to playing classical music, Dan has had the opportunity to perform with pop icons including Johnny Mathis, The Who, Anne Murray, Andrea Bocelli, Weird Al Yankovic, Wayne Newton, Donna Summer, and Warren Haynes. He played with the US tours of The Lion King, West Side Story, and The Color Purple. His first gig was in high school, when he pretended to be an Irish fiddler in P.J. Finnegan's Pub in Westwood, NJ., then as a salon violinist at the Italian restaurant across the street.
Flanagan began violin lessons with Louise Butler and the Suzuki Method in Ridgewood, NJ, at the age of four, then studied with Janina Robinson, a student of Louis Persinger. In high school, he studied with Lewis Kaplan in New York City and with Hal Grossman at Interlochen Arts Academy. Dan received his Bachelors Degree at Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Linda Cerone and his Masters Degree studying with Fritz Gearhart at University of Oregon, where he was a Graduate Teaching Fellow. Additional studies were with Isaac Malkin, Charles Castleman, and Ron Patterson.
Flanagan plays on a violin made in 1840 by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, once owned by the celebrated American virtuoso Albert Spalding, then by Phillip Ruder, former concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony. It is a bench copy of Paganini's "Il Cannone" Guarneri del Gesù and an exact twin of the Ysaÿe Vuillaume.
"I can enthusiastically recommend Dan Flanagan as a performer and teacher. He is a thoughtful and dedicated musician who is very easy to work with"
~Michael Morgan (Music Director, Oakland Symphony;
Music Director Emeritus, Sacramento Philharmonic)
Dan Flanagan currently serves as Concertmaster of the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, Concertmaster of the Modesto Symphony, Concertmaster of West Edge Opera, Concertmaster of Opera Paralléle, and Instructor of Violin at University of California, Berkeley. Described as a “stellar musician” (Nevada Reviews), he has been praised for his “exquisite tones” and “forthright brio” (Sacramento Bee), and his “violin... solos were excellent” (San Francisco Classical Voice).
A dedicated orchestral player, Flanagan has performed as concertmaster with the Oakland Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, California Symphony, California Musical Theater, Festival Opera of Walnut Creek, Symphony Silicon Valley, Merced Symphony, and Symphony Napa Valley. He performs regularly with the San Francisco Opera and Ballet and records film, television, and video game soundtracks with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Flanagan has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento, the Oregon Bach Festival, Earplay, Midsummer Mozart Chamber Players, Gold Coast Chamber Players, and has collaborated with pianists Leon Fleisher and Jon Nakamatsu. A founding member of the Farallon Quintet, with whom he has performed throughout Northern California, he has commissioned and premiered numerous works, several of which can be heard on their CD, “Farallon Quintet Originals.” As a member of the Eco Ensemble, he performs regularly at Cal Performances, performed at La Biennale in Venice, Italy, and was featured in Strings Magazine.