Guitar | Oud | Percussion
Composer | Educator | Conductor
Daniel is a multiple award-winning instrumentalist, composer, and educator based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Some achievements include performance, composition, and arranging for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony, and Symphony Nova Scotia. All concerts have had tremendous success with rave reviews, and Daniel has been featured as a soloist (guitar) in concert with all of these orchestras. As both a composer and instrumentalist, MacNeil has also been featured and filmed for an entire concert of original works produced by CBC’s studio 60 and the East Coast Music Hour, and he has been featured in countless festivals across Canada. Additional concerts he has written for include orchestral pops in the Celtic music genre, music for the PEI Symphony, and an Atlantic Airwaves concert produced and recorded by CBC.
As an instructor, Daniel has been awarded the Teachers Gold Medal Award from the Royal Conservatory of Canada five consecutive years for teaching Eastern Canada gold medal winners in the classical guitar examination competition. He is a part-time faculty member at The Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dalhousie University and the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. He has also lectured at Acadia University and taught at the NSCC Ivany Campus where he directed the World Music Ensemble and the Guitar Ensemble
A performer and collaborator in a diverse range of “world music” genres (including: Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Indian Classical, Latin, Balkan, Brazilian, and African to name just a few), his musical sensibilities and proficiency as an instrumentalist are equally adept in New Music, Classical Music, Improv, Jazz, and Fusion styles. Daniel is equally at home as a composer as he is in performance. Drawing on an extremely rich and diverse background, he continually presents new ideas and produces original works for virtually any medium or genre.
He is the founder and director of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s New World Music Ensemble, in which he composes, and performs guitar and oud, and he is also the founder and director of Nova Scotia’s premiere Middle Eastern chamber ensemble Nafas. Daniel also composes and performs flamenco guitar regularly for professional Halifax based flamenco music and dance companies Maria Osende Flamenco Co. and Compañia Azul.
Daniel received his Bachelor of Music degree from Acadia University, where he focused on composition, and he received his Masters in Musicology from Dalhousie University. Between 2007-2010, Daniel studied flamenco formally with world class artists in Madrid, Spain, at the renowned flamenco school Amor De Dios, as well as privately. Additional specialized training includes: orchestral studies through private mentorship with Dinuk Wijeratne, Middle Eastern classical music (oud & percussion), which he studied extensively with renowned musicians from Palestine and Jerusalem, and Indian classical music (pakhawaj in the style of Odissi), which he has studied intensively in India.
As a working professional he performs and composes regularly for soloists, duos, trios, quartets, chamber ensembles, orchestra, percussion, dance, voice, and has premiered a new music work for piano quintet. Additional background includes: Classical, Improv, many styles in “World Music”, Jazz, Folk, and Blues.
Some musicians and artists Daniel has collaborated with in performance, and in nearly all cases composition, or arranging as well include: Iranian bagpipe master Mohsen Sharifian, cantaora Maria Mezcle, Miguel Tellez, Indian classical dancer Josephine Nithya, Maria Serrano, David Romero, Dinuk Wijeratne, Norman Adams, Jennifer king and the Blue Engine String Quartet, Chris Mitchell, Soprano Nicole Jordan, Maria Osende, and Compañia Azul.
In addition to performance, composition, and arranging, Daniel teaches a wide variety of genres.