Daniel Stewart, viola/conducting
Daniel Stewart is the Music Director of the Santa Cruz Symphony, and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. Hailed by The Boston Musical Intelligencer as “A fascinatingly vibrant conductor”, Stewart’s tenure as Music Director in Santa Cruz has led to unprecedented acclaim, including the Peninsula Reviews' assertion that "the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Stewart has now developed into the finest musical ensemble South of San Francisco and North of Los Angeles."
Mr. Stewart’s 21/22 season highlights include his subscription debut with the San Francisco Symphony in a program featuring Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and a 10 year extension of his music directorship of the Santa Cruz Symphony. The recipient of the 2010 Aspen Music Festival's James Conlon Conducting Prize, he has conducted orchestras including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Hessischer Rundfunk Orchester, Frankfurt Opern Orchestra, Boston Ballet, New World Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, Midsummer Mozart Festival, Orlando Philharmonic, and the Opera companies of the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, and Aspen Festival.
In 2012, the Metropolitan Opera appointed Stewart as the first conductor of their Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. In 2013, he made his acclaimed Lincoln Center debut in a Metropolitan Opera produced concert of comic operas by Stravinsky, Mozart, Donizetti and Berlioz. During his tenure with the Metropolitan Opera, he conducted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and soloists in a comprehensive range of the operatic repertoire.
Stewart’s transformative work with the Santa Cruz Symphony has earned international recognition and a reputation for attracting top talent, including frequent collaborations with artists such as Yuja Wang, whose most recent appearances with the orchestra were described by the San Francisco Classical Voice as “Nothing short of miraculous. The sheer excitement of witnessing such extraordinary music making was an experience to be remembered.” During his tenure as music director, he has also featured over 20 principal singers from the Metropolitan Opera, established a thriving chamber music series, expanded education programs, and increased local collaborative partnerships.
Notable collaborations with leading contemporary composers have included the late Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mason Bates, HK Gruber, John Wineglass, and particularly Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Thomas Adès, whom he assisted as cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's "Aspects of Adès" festival in 2011. Daniel’s own compositions have been performed at venues including the Aspen Music Festival, Tribeca New Music Festival, and Verbier Festival.
An accomplished violist, Mr. Stewart has performed in over 40 countries, and has previously served as principal violist of numerous ensembles including the New World Symphony and Verbier Festival Orchestras, collaborating closely in this capacity with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Michael Tilson-Thomas.
A former assistant conductor to Charles Dutoit with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kurt Masur with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, James Levine with the Metropolitan Opera, and Michael Tilson-Thomas with the New World Symphony, he received his formal conducting training at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Otto-Werner Mueller, Simon Rattle, Christoph Eschenbach and Alan Gilbert.