Born in Milwaukee, DANIEL STEPNER grew up in Wisconsin, attending public schools in Janesville and Milwaukee. Both his parents were professional musicians and educators, and he decided on a musical career at an early age. He graduated from Northwestern University, and earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at Yale. He also spent two summers at the Écoles d’Art Américaines in Fontainebleau, France, where he worked privately with Nadia Boulanger in musical analysis and violin repertoire. His principal teachers included Steven Staryk and Broadus Erle on violin, and Milton Weber and Gustav Meier in conducting. He also worked in composition with Alan Stout and Yehudi Wyner. Since moving to Boston in 1975, he has been involved in many aspects of the Boston area’s musical life: as concertmaster, chamber player, recitalist, recording artist, conductor, concerto soloist, private teacher, theatrical musical director, chamber series organizer, children’s program coordinator, and chamber music coach. As a touring musician, he has played in eleven countries in Western Europe and in the former Soviet Union, and throughout Australia and the US.
He is presently first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, in residence since 1980 at Brandeis University, where he is Professor of the Practice. Since 1991, he has also been a Preceptor in Music at Harvard University. He continues as Artistic Director of the Aston Magna Festival and at Bard College. He was a founding member of the Boston Museum Trio, resident at the Museum of Fine Arts for thirty-five years, and for twenty-four years he was Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra under Christopher Hogwood and Grant Llewellyn. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife, viola da gambist Laura Jeppesen. Their son Benjamin is a jazz pianist and composer. Mr. Stepner made his Newport debut in 2013.