Steven Dann was born on Canada’s west coast, in Burnaby, British Columbia. From 1977 to 2000, he was successively principal violist of Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He performed as soloist with these orchestras under eminent conductors, including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir John Eliot Gardner, Jiri Belohlavec and Oliver Knussen, and as guest principal with other prominent orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Paavo Berglund, Ivan Fischer and Pierre Boulez. He also led the viola section of the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle for the opening of the Four Seasons Opera House under Richard Bradshaw. He is violist of the multi Grammy-nominated ARC Ensemble, the wonderfully eclectic Zebra Trio (with violinist Ernst Kovacic and cellist Anssi Karttunen) and a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society since 1990. He is a former member of both the Glinka Quartet and the Axelrod Quartet. His large chamber music and solo discography includes numerous award-winning recordings on numerous labels. He has commissioned and recorded many new works from composers such as Friedrich Cerha, Kaija Saariaho, Rolf Wallin, Hans Abrahamsen, Mirek Srnka, Peter Lieberson, R. Murray Shafer, Peter Oesterle and Christos Hatzis. Mr. Dann teaches viola and chamber music at the Glenn Gould School of Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. He directs chamber music programs at the Domaine Forget in Charlevoix, Québec and the Music by the Sea Festival in British Columbia. Mr. Dann alternates between two instruments. An early 19th century viola from the Gagliano family, and a viola commissioned from Joseph Curtin in 2019.