Dan Morgan was born in Pretoria, South Africa, but spent the first
decade of his life in what was then the Bechuanaland Protectorate (now
Botswana). This semi-desert was something of a musical wilderness as
well, until his older brother introduced him to the wonders of opera
in general and of Maria Callas in particular. Piano lessons were interrupted
by the family’s move to Nairobi, Kenya, where he bought his first turntable
(a secondhand Lenco) and raided the bargain bins at a local supermarket
looking for classical LPs and cassettes.
Dan moved back to South Africa in 1976 and went on to take his MA in
English Literature (E. M. Forster) at the University of the Witwatersrand
('Wits'). He also received a First in Music History from
the Wits School of Music; there he encountered Mahler's symphonies
for the first time, igniting a lifelong passion for the composer's
A short stint teaching English at the University of Cape Town was followed
by a change of career and emigration to the UK in 1985, where he took
up a sub-editor's post with a property magazine in London’s Pemberton
Row. He witnessed the demise of the 'old' Fleet Street
and was working as a chief sub-editor in Docklands when the IRA bomb
at South Quay in 1996 put paid to his career as a full-time journalist.
Dan lives in Kent, where apart from being an active parent, avid music
collector, Apple Mac and World Cinema enthusiast, he reviews and helps
to prepare weekly pages for MusicWeb. He is also a regular contributor
to Brian Wilson’s bi-monthly Download News, where he focuses on the
rapidly developing high-resolution sector of the market. He supports
other high-res technologies too – SACD and Blu-ray – but the pressure
of space means he reviews in stereo rather than multi-channel.
Dan's musical tastes are fairly eclectic, with the emphasis on
19th- and 20th-century repertoire - Berlioz, Mahler,
Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Janácek and Messiaen.
He is always keen to explore new and unusual works, and has developed
a passion for Nordic composers – see The
Music of Kalevi Aho. He also takes an interest in organ music, and
a follower of Finland’s fine organists, Kalevi Kiviniemi first among