CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Meet the 19-year-old conductor of the Watford Youth Sinfonia

PUBLISHED: 11:28 21 August 2017

Dan Hogan

Dan Hogan


Dan Hogan, 19-year-old conductor, composer and artistic director of Watford Youth Sinfonia

Where does your love of music come from?

It started around the age of eight when I heard a piece of classical music in a school assembly, I ran back to my dad who has a massive CD collection and begged him to play me some more! Through him, I was introduced to the greats, especially Dvorak, Elgar, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, and that excitement of discovering new music only grew in the years to come, with music gradually becoming the all-consuming part of my life.

How did you begin conducting?

I started piano and cello soon after discovering classical music but would always dance along – rather hysterically – to recordings of my favourite pieces at the time, often waving my arms about. This lent itself quite naturally to an interest in being a conductor – after all he’s the person that stands at the front of the orchestra expressing the music by making all sorts of choreography. I eventually had my first experiences actually conducting at the Junior Academy of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where I studied every Saturday from the age of 14 and started private lessons. I later founded the Watford Youth Sinfonia at the age of 17.

Who inspires you?

Early inspirations included Sir Simon Rattle, for seeming like a magician in front of the orchestra – able to transform the sound of the orchestra and its smallest details through the most miniscule facial expression or hand gesture.

Is the music all-encompassing?

I generally have little life outside of music as I’m always in rehearsals or working towards the next concert, but that is fine as music is a very social world and I am lucky to have some amazing friends. It’s the best thing in the world to make music that matters to you with people who are special to you. My tastes in music mostly evolve around the late Romantic era and early 20th century, with Mahler being my absolute god – the composer who was the most genuine and heart-wrenching with emotional content in his magnificent symphonies.

what does the future hold?

My ambition is to conduct – I don’t really care where, just as long as it’s music I love with people who are just as excited about it as I am.

Watford Youth Sinfonia will perform its summer concert on August 18 from 7.30pm at St Michael and All Angels in Watford.

The programme features Strauss’ Four last Songs with soprano soloist Lottie Bowden, and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People


Buckhurst Hill’s Alexander Vesselinov who became a karate red belt at just four and a half years old

Read more

Gemma Lilly is one half of the Loughton-based Style Sisters. We talk personal style, top tipples and favourite places to shop in West Essex

Read more

Putting the spotlight on retailers whose business is an important part of the community.

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Escape to the Chateau star Angel Adoree is currently reaping the benefits of her incredible vision and drive to build an overseas wedding and lifestyle business from scratch with husband Dick Strawbridge. Here she tells Essex Life about series five of the hit Channel 4 show and how a strong Essex work ethic helped her dream so big | Words: Denise Marshall

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Spirit Yachts is a Suffolk success story. After 25 years of designing and building luxury vessels sailed all over the world, it has plenty to celebrate | Words: Ross Bentley

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Actor Tom Burke talks to JUDI SPIERS about his production of Don Carlos staged by his own theatre company Ara, in association with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

250 years ago this month a baron’s servant smashed down a bedroom door in St Albans’ White Hart Inn to find a prince in bed with his master’s wife. Cue a court case, a delighted press, and much airing of royal underwear

Read more
November 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018

As the Lord Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James, or Bishop Graham to his flock and many friends, prepares to retire, he bids a fond farewell to Norfolk

Read more
November 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018

Piotr Jajszczyk is a master jeweller who works for a 125-year-old Harrogate firm that has made jewellery for kings and presidents.

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Millennium Care believe in independence and ‘Why not’ when it comes to what helping their residents fulfil dreams.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search