Daniel Basford was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire in 1983. He learnt piano, cello, bassoon and percussion before turning to composition at fifteen. He studied with Kate Romano in 2000 and entered the Royal Northern College of Music in 2001, studying with David Horne. In 2005 he also attended the Britten-Pears Young Artists Contemporary Composition course, studying with Magnus Lindberg and Colin Matthews.

Notable commissions include works for chamber ensembles and orchestra played at several of the RNCM's contemporary composer festivals in addition to works premiered by the LSO and Britten Sinfonia. His fanfare Blast - scored for the same orchestral forces as Berlioz's Requiem - was performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 2007. His song  Hourglass was commissioned for the NMC Songbook.

One of many young emerging composers writing much for concert band, Daniel's latest work, Night Journey, was premiered by Hertfordshire Wind Sinfonia in 2009 to great acclaim and is now published by Maecenas Music. His Processional Fanfare was one of the winners in the Dallas Wind Symphony's 2008 Fanfare Competition.

As well as composing, Daniel is active as a freelance instrumentalist, playing timpani and percussion in several Hertfordshire-based orchestras, and as a pianist for classical and non-classical instrumental and choral ensembles. He was one of the soloists (percussion) on Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra's recording of Edwin Roxburgh's Saturn (NMC D119).  He also works as a percussion, theory and steel pan teacher for Hertfordshire Music Service.

Daniel was the winner of the 2005 Theodore Holland Intercollegiate Prize for Composition; the 2005 RNCM Soroptimist Prize for Composers; and was one of three winners in the London Symphony Orchestra's Panufnik Discovery Composition Project for 2005. In 2008 he was a finalist in the Aliénor Composition Awards for Harpsichord, and won 3rd prize in the International "2 Agosto" Composition Contest.