Dr. Daniel Swayze is the Founder and Executive Director of the critically-acclaimed Beerthoven Concert Series, which has enjoyed impressive growth since its creation in 2014. His piano playing has been described by Jacksonville Review as "Enchanting... crisp and impressive."
Dr. Swayze graduated Summa cum Laude from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, OR in the Class of 2011, having received all of the department's highest honors. While living in Southern Oregon, he performed as soloist with large ensembles including Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Rogue Valley Concert Band and in the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Southern Oregon University Symphonic Band. He also served as accompanist for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Grace Lutheran Church, Rogue Opera, Southern Oregon University, and the award-winning ensemble Siskiyou Violins, including a 2012 performance in Carnegie Hall.
Since moving to Austin, TX, Swayze has enjoyed an active life as a performer, educator and musical entrepreneur. He has made numerous appearances on KUTX 98.9 Radio and on KMFA 89.5 as well as The Texas Standard and KVUE-TC on ABC News. His curatorial work in the Beerthoven Concert Series has garnered praise from the Austin Chronicle, the Austin American-Statesman, Sightlines Magazine, and others. For its fourth season, Beerthoven performers were nominated in three categories for the Austin Critics Table Awards and won for Best Classical Ensemble Performance (for the ensemble invoke). In 2018, Swayze caught the attention of Food and Wine Magazine with the launch of Craft Music Lessons, organizing group piano classes for adults at local breweries and other venues. In March of 2019, he was featured as a guest speaker for the Music Teachers National Association Virtual Conference.
Dr. Swayze completed his Master of Music (2014) and his Doctorate of Musical Arts (2019) degress at the Butler School of Music, the University of Texas in Austin, studying primarily with Professor Gregory Allen. Previous teachers include Dr. Alexander Tutunov and Mark Wescott with master classes by Nelita True, John Perry, Jon Nakamatsu, and others. In addition to his Doctorate, he completed a Portfolio in Arts Administration through the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. During his time as a student at UT, Dr. Swayze received extensive training in piano pedagogy (the art of teaching piano) and performed with the UT New Music Ensemble, giving premieres and rare performances of many works by living composers.
Currently, Swayze continues his work with Beerthoven and performs as a freelance pianist in the greater Austin area. He serves as the Music Director at Memorial United Methodist Church and provides music for the Austin Saengerrunde and many special events. His hobbies include cooking, swing dancing, astronomy, hiking, and the occasional philosophical conversation. Daniel is Isabel Certified.