conductor, Wattis Foundation Music Director
Daniel Stewart joined the San Francisco Symphony as Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) in the 2019–20 season. He also currently serves as Music Director of the Santa Cruz Symphony, and has conducted the San Francisco Symphony, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Frankfurt Opera-Orchestra, and Boston Ballet, among others.
Under his artistic leadership, the Santa Cruz Symphony has seen unprecedented growth and earned a reputation for innovative programming, frequent collaborations with leading international artists such as Yuja Wang and more than twenty principal singers from the Metropolitan Opera, and attracting exceptional talent to its ranks.
In 2012, the Metropolitan Opera appointed Stewart the first conductor of their Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. In 2013, he made his Lincoln Center debut in a Metropolitan Opera-produced concert of scenes from comic operas by Stravinsky, Mozart, Donizetti, and Berlioz. During his tenure with the Metropolitan Opera, he coached singers and conducted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and soloists in a comprehensive range of the operatic repertory.
He has worked closely with contemporary composers such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Thomas Adès, Mason Bates, John Adams, HK Gruber, and the late Karlheinz Stockhausen. Stewart’s own compositions have been performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Tribeca New Music Festival, and the Verbier Festival.
A San Francisco native, Stewart is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller. He has also studied with Michael Tilson Thomas, Simon Rattle, Christoph Eschenbach, and Alan Gilbert. In 2010, Stewart was awarded the Aspen Music Festival's James Conlon conducting prize. Previously a member of the SFSYO and a substitute violist for the San Francisco Symphony, he has concertized frequently as a viola soloist, and served as principal violist of numerous ensembles, including the New World Symphony, Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, and the Verbier Festival and Chamber Orchestras. He has recorded for EMI with Maxim Vengerov, and toured extensively in more than forty countries.