Danny Driver

Danny Driver, Piano (UK)

Photo: © Kaupo Kikkas

Pianist Danny Driver is recognised internationally as an artist of sophistication, insight and musical depth. His studies at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music inspired his holistic approach to performance, from which he derives a vibrant brand of programming that he brings to concert halls and music festivals across the UK, Europe, Asia and North America. His breadth of repertoire and musical curiosity are also reflected in his recordings for Hyperion, in which he has explored both mainstream and neglected music from the baroque period through to the present day, recently releasing Ligeti’s complete Études for Piano to widespread international acclaim.

A Gramophone Award nominated artist, Driver has performed with orchestras across the globe including the BBC Scottish Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC NOW, Hallé, Minnesota, Bournemouth Symphony, Philharmonia, American Symphony, RTÉ Concert, Hong Kong Pro Arte, Queensland Symphony, Kuopio Symphony, and Uppsala Chamber Orchestra. His many collaborations with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have included performances across the UK, at London’s Cadogan Hall and at the BBC Proms (where he has performed twice as a soloist). He has worked with conductors including Andrew Litton, Charles Dutoit, Martyn Brabbins, Dalia Stasevska, Alexander Shelley, Mario Venzago, Anna-Maria Helsing, Marzena Diakun, Rebecca Miller, Rory Macdonald and Sir James Macmillan.

Driver’s recital career to date has included numerous appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall, including four live-streamed solo and chamber recitals during the 2020-21 lockdown period, and a three-concert series in 2021-22 devoted to György Ligeti and his musical world. Elsewhere Driver has given solo recitals at the Southbank Centre’s International Piano Series, Music Toronto, San Francisco Performances, Montreal’s Salle Bourgie, and Klavierraritäten Husum, while enjoying ongoing associations with festivals such as the Lammermuir (Scotland), Lichfield (England) and Bard Summerscape (USA).

Driver’s passion for chamber music has generated invitations to festivals such as O/Modernt and Gothenburg Chamber Music Festival (Sweden), Australian Chamber Music Festival, Engadin Festival (Switzerland), and the Dante Festival (UK). It has found expression in long-standing musical partnerships with violinist Chloë Hanslip, baritone Christian Immler, and cellist-composer Oliver Coates. Recent projects have included a complete traversal of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano at with Chloë Hanslip at Turner Sims Concert Hall (UK), also recorded live for Rubicon Classics (2017), and lieder recitals with Christian Immler at the Salle Bourgie (Montreal),  Deutschlandfunk’s Raderbergkonzerte (Köln) and Maison de la Radio (Paris). Driver has also enjoyed performing with the JACK, Parker, Carducci, and Brodsky String Quartets.

Driver’s long relationship with Hyperion Records label has spawned a varied and internationally acclaimed discography of works by composers including Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Handel, York Bowen, Mili Balakirev, Robert Schumann, and Erik Chisholm. His recordings have won him awards including Limelight Magazine’s Instrumental Recording of the Year 2014 (Handel Suites), inclusion in the New York Times’ list of 2017’s Best Classical Recordings (Piano Concertos by Beach/Howell/Chaminade) and two Gramophone Award Nominations (York Bowen Piano Sonatas, Beach/Howell/Chaminade). His most recent release of György Ligeti’s Piano Études has met with particular critical acclaim, including an International Classical Music Awards nomination for best solo instrument recording of 2021: “Driver, as fleet of finger as this formidably challenging writing demands, has a mind that searches beyond contrivance; these are transfixing performances” [The Sunday Times]. Forthcoming recordings include works by Schumann and Fauré.

Danny Driver resides in London with his family. He teaches a small class of pianists at the Royal College of Music, where he was appointed Professor of Piano & Contemporary Piano in 2016.