Saxophonist Daniel Graser is emerging as one of the most innovative and influential performers and pedagogues of his generation. Currently Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Grand Valley State University (gvsu-saxophone.com), Dan was a recipient of the Doctorate of Musical Arts and Masters in Music from the University of Michigan where he served as Teaching Assistant to legendary pedagogue Donald Sinta. Dan previously earned Bachelors degrees summa cum laude in music theory/history and saxophone performance as well as the Honors in Performance while a student of Dr. Timothy McAllister at the Crane School of Music.
Greatly in demand as an educator, Dan has presented masterclasses, clinics and recitals throughout the world including the Paris Conservatory, Versailles Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory, Beijing Central Conservatory, China Conservatory, the Kennedy Center, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, University of North Carolina Greensboro, West Virginia University, Texas A&M Commerce, and many others. Dan has previously served on the faculties of Oakland University, Mpulse Saxophone Institute, Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts, and the Expressions Music Academy.
As an orchestral performer, Dan has been featured with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions under Leonard Slatkin. Dan also performed as saxophonist with the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas and John Adams. With NWS, Dan gave premieres and performances of works by John Adams (performed with the composer), Julia Wolfe, Giacinto Scelsi, and Alex Orfaly. A recent review of a world premiere by Orfaly with New World Symphony:
"a jazzy interlude spotlights a virtuosic, big band saxophone solo, played with dazzling agility and panache by Daniel Graser." - South Florida Classical Review
Additional credits include the Hot Springs Festival Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Oakland Symphony, Orchestra of Northern New York, and solo performances with the Oakland Wind Symphony and South Oakland Concert Band. As an undergraduate, Dan was invited to perform as principal saxophone with the National Wind Ensemble in Carnegie Hall under the baton of H. Robert Reynolds.
As a member of the Donald Sinta Quartet, Dan has received numerous accolades including the 1st Prize of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, Grand Prize of the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, and 1st Prize of the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition. Dan also received 1st Place in the Crane Concerto Competition and was a three-time 1st Place winner of the Crane Chamber Music Competition.
At UM Dan performed as saxophonist with the University Symphony Orchestra, University Philharmonia Orchestra, and Contemporary Directions Ensemble and as principal saxophonist with the legendary Michigan Symphony Band. He was featured numerous times as soloist with that ensemble in the works of Colgrass, Smith, and Bolcom, including featured concerto performances with DSQ during the historic 2011 tour to China and Los Angeles. As aforementioned, Dan was Teaching Assistant to Don Sinta and was responsible for teaching undergrad music education classes, coaching quartets, and initiating and teaching a class for extended techniques to saxophone majors. Dan was selected by the University of Michigan to perform as the featured saxophonist in recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the Millennium Stage series.
Dan maintains a private studio in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor and his students have won numerous concerto competitions and gained admission to prestigious saxophone studios around the country in performance, jazz studies, and education degree programs. Dan was recently added to the Selmer Paris Artist Roster and performs on Selmer saxophones and mouthpieces exclusively.