Stuart is a guitarist, composer and improvising musician with 20 years experience as a performer in many varied contexts, ranging from classical through to contemporary styles, musical theatre and jazz. Stuart is also a passionate music educator, with 10 years experience teaching jazz, improvisation, classical guitar, contemporary guitar styles and compositional techniques. Stuart has a strong background in teaching at all levels, from beginners through to advanced students in the early stages of their career, and has run regional workshops in jazz studies for young students. As a composer his compositions draw influence from classical and jazz music.
In 2001 Stuart commenced studies at the Canberra School of Music, ANU enrolling in a Bachelor of Music degree as a composition major. Stuart studied composition with Jim Cotter and also studied classical guitar as an elective study with former Guitar Trek members Carolyn Kidd and Daniel McKay. In 2003, Stuart transferred to a jazz performance major and commenced lessons with jazz guitarist Mike Price. Stuart graduated from Canberra School of Music in 2005 with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in jazz performance.
Stuart has attended workshops by many well know musicians and composers, including composer Nigel Westlake, classical guitarist Anthony Field, jazz guitarist Ben Hauptmann, rock guitarists Brett Garsed and Paul Gilbert and has had private lessons with Australian jazz guitar icons James Muller and Stephen Magnusson.
Stuart regularly performs as a bandleader, sideman and session player and has performed with many notable Australian jazz musicians such as Ben Hauptmann and Carl Dewhurst and has played support acts for iconic Australian rock bands such as Thirsty Merc, The SuperJesus, Evermore and Pseudo Echo. Stuart has also performed with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions alongside internationally renown musicians Anne Sofie von Otter, Rachael Beck, Ian Stenlake and conductor Timothy Sexton. Stuart has also performed in numerous musical theatre productions, some of which he was appointed band manager and musical director. He has also performed in local festivals such as the Canberra International Music Festival and the National Festival of Women's Music and has also composed music for local independent short films.
Stuart is a member of the Mike Price acoustic guitar trio, featuring Mike Price and Greg Stott. The group performs original compositions and unique arrangements of diverse repertoire taking influence from Latin, flamenco and jazz guitar styles. Stuart also takes on the role as band leader and performs regularly with his group ‘The Rivals’, an organ trio featuring Stuart on electric guitars and Luke Sweeting on organ/rhodes. An accomplished accompanist, Stuart also performs regularly with singer Lucinda Peters.
Stuart believes that the future of music in Australia begins with a quality education and feels a responsibility to contribute to the Australian music culture not only as a performer and composer, but as an educator.