Swedish-born double bassist Dan Styffe has been based in Norway for most of his professional career. After studying with Göran Nyberg, Knut Guettler and Gary Karr (also working as Karr’s assistant from 1981 to 1982), Dan made his solo debut in Oslo in 1985 and has been active as soloist and chamber musician ever since. He regularly performs in international chamber music festivals and as a soloist. He has also participated in many international double bass conventions around the world such as Paris, Berlin, Wrocław, Penn State, Odense, San Francisco, Brno, Copenhagen, Iceland, Rochester, Prague, London, Ithaca and Lucca. He has also been a jury member on international bass competitions including the ISB, BassEurope, Markneukirchen, and Sperger competitions.
Dan has recorded seven critically acclaimed solo CDs on SIMAX Classics. He recently recorded with violinist Dora Schwarzberg and Øystein Birkeland for ContraClassics and a CD of music by French composer Bernard Salles for the label Fabra. He has also recorded for the English label Prima Facie, and is planning further recordings.
Dan has commissioned many new pieces and has worked with many composers including Rolf Martinsson, Fredrik Högberg, Teppo Hauta-aho, Bernard Salles, Paul Ramsier, Rune Rebne, Henrik Hellstenius, Jon Øyvind Ness, Gisle Kverndokk, John Persen, Asbjørn Schaatun, Terje Viken, Ruben Sverre Gjesrtsen, Christian Lindberg, Marcus Paus, and Laurence Crane. Dan premiered a new concerto by Swedish composer Christian Lindberg with the Beethoven Orchestra in Bonn, February 2018.
In April 2011 he premiered and recorded Rolf Martinsson’s Concerto No. 1 with the Oslo Philharmonic under Saraste and later that same year he recorded Fredrik Högberg’s concerto Hitting the First Bass with the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra under Holthe. Dan performed the world premiere of this concerto with The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, led by Isabelle van Keulen.
After concluding his studies Dan was appointed principal bass with the Norwegian Opera Orchestra and later principal bass with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (under Iona Brown’s leadership). He is currently co-principal with the Oslo Philharmonic and has performed under Mariss Jansons, André Previn, Jukka Pekka Saraste, and Vasily Petrenko. He was also a member of the chamber ensemble Borealis.
Dan regularly works with many international musicians, including close partnerships with violist Catherine Bullock, pianists Gonzalo Moreno and Ingrid Andsnes, and cellist Øystein Birkeland. He recorded a number of duos with violinist Peter Herresthal in late 2011.
Dan works as Professor of Double Bass at the Norwegian Academy of Music and at Barratt Due’s Institute of Music, Oslo.
Dan plays a Gasparo da Saló double bass made in Brescia, Italia in approximately 1580. This instrument is owned by the foundation Dextra Musica/Sparebankstiftelsen DnB NOR.