Dan Saunders has a wide range of experience in the fields of Opera and Song Repertoire, as Conductor, Pianist and Coach. His Master Classes have been well received both here and abroad.

  Mr. Saunders classes have taken various forms: The Traditional Performance Classes regarding presentation and what one looks for in an audition. As a judge for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and six seasons as Associate Conductor of Virginia Opera, he brings to his classes first-hand knowledge of what it takes to “get the job.”

  Another format involves Opera Scene Development, in which the students prepare scenes from the standard opera repertoire with piano and perform it for fellow students. Mr. Saunders then works directly with the singers and pianists (if students). These sessions can be a lot of fun interacting with the audience, feedback from faculty, etc.

  As a pianist, Mr. Saunders applies his background in concert work to Lieder and Collaborative Piano Classes. He studied at the American Conservatory of Music with renowned pedagogue William Browning and appeared as soloist with members of the Chicago Symphony and at Orchestra Hall . He then won a full scholarship to the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, playing Lieder Master Classes for pianist Norman Shetler. This segued into four years of study and concert appearances in London under the guidance of the world-renowned accompanist Geoffrey Parsons.

  Past Master Classes and Lecture/Demonstrations: Glimmerglass Opera, Virginia Opera, New Jersey Opera Theater, Ash Lawn Festival, Shanghai Opera, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Wesleyan College, Chrysler Museum , Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University.

  Mr. Saunders began his operatic career after being heard by James Levine and offered a position as Rehearsal Pianist at the Metropolitan Opera. After four years, he became an Assistant Conductor with the company. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as harpsichordist for the new Jean- Pierre Ponnelle production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito telecast on Live From Lincoln Center and subsequently played continuo for many productions, including Le Nozze di Figaro, Idomeneo,and L’Italiana in Algeri.

  He made his conducting debut in 1993 as Music Director of Verdi’s La Traviatawith the L’Orchestra Nacional of Costa Rica, returning the following season for Rigoletto. Subsequently, he conducted the New York City Opera National Company on tour leading 35 performances of Madama Butterfly. He was then invited to conduct the New Jersey Opera Theatre and Ash Lawn Festival. In addition to six seasons as Associate Conductor of Virginia Opera, he has also conducted the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater and Boston University Opera Institute. Last season he led the New York All-State Orchestra at the famed Eastman Theater.