LOUIS STEWART

Composer, Pianist, Conductor


Louis Stewart, American conductor, composer, and pianist, was born in Aberdeen, Washington in 1944 and received his B. Mus. from Whitman College in Washington; his M. M. from the New England Conservatory in Boston; and his D.M.A. from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. His teachers have included Willis Stevens, Robert Goldsand and John Ogdon in piano and Frederik Prausnitz and Atilio Poto in conducting. Specializing in new music, Louis Stewart has conducted and played premieres in New York, Seattle, Boston, and Baltimore and has guest conducted in the United States and Southeast Asia.


From 1971 until 1977 Stewart was pianist and assistant conductor with the Martha Graham Dance Company where he was involved with several revivals, premieres, and international tours. In 1976 he was invited to play a performance at the White House as part of a special ceremony honoring Martha Graham. During the seventies Stewart composed several scores for productions directed by Tisa Chang under the auspices of La Mama Theatre,.


In 1981 and 1983, Stewart wrote two film scores for William Whiteford at the University of Maryland. Both films aired on PBS in the early eighties. In 1984, Stewart was co-founder of the Baltimore Improvisation Ensemble which performed extensively throughout the eastern United States, including concerts at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston. The ensemble released a recording for distribution in 1986.


Stewart’s Landscapes for chorus and chamber ensemble was premiered in England June of 1992 by the Chanctonbury Chorus, Sibhoan Denning conducting. His ballet, Water and Stone, was premiered with Julliet Forrest in Baltimore in 1989 and his 1992 musical theatre work, Cambodia Agonistes, was produced off-Broadway by Tisa Chang and the Pan-Asian Repertory Company.


In 1993, his ballet Beat Café was premiered in Boston by the American Concert Ballet and a concert version was performed in Boston – April of 1996 with Jack Jarrett conducting. Cambodia Agonistes was presented in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, El Paso, Cairo, and Johannesburg in 1994 through 1995 for a total of over 50 performances since its premiere.


In 1995, Stewart was invited to guest conduct the Nusantara Symphony Orchestra in Jakarta as well as give master classes organized by the State Department. During this engagement, Stewart conducted the first performance outside the United States of Robert Macht’s Kreasi Baru for gamelan and orchestra.


In 1996, his Concertino for piano and band was premiered by the Hingham High School Band with Doug Wauchope conducting and the composer as soloist. In 1999 his Folk Music for trumpet and band was performed by Jim Thompson and the Air Force Reserve Concert Band.

His awards have included a Meet-the-Composer Grant shared with Tim Anderson and Robert Macht for the ballet, Mutable Grounds, performed by the Baltimore Improvisation Ensemble and Naked Feet Dance Company. Stewart’s scores in print include Fantasy for Two Pianos and Movements for String Trio, published by Frank Warren Music. His text, Music for Martha Graham, is published by the University Microfilms International. His latest show, Shanghais Lil’s has just completed a recent run in New York by the Pan-Asian Repertory Company. Louis Stewart is currently an Associate Professor on the faculty of Berklee College of Music.