John Stewart, composer and music theorist, is a Visiting Professor of Music Theory and Composition. He has earned degrees from the New England Conservatory and Harvard University, where he studied with Earl Kim, Leon Kirchner, and Lukas Foss, among others. A composer of chamber, vocal, and orchestral music, Dr. Stewart taught at the New England Conservatory for many years before joining the faculty of Harvard University, where he taught courses in harmony, counterpoint, composition, and musicianship for over 25 years, until his retirement in 2008. He received both of the teaching prizes at Harvard: the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize (1994) and the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Award (2008). He was named a “Favorite Professor” of the Harvard College class of 2009 (the 6th such designation in the past nine years), an honor that includes a farewell statement to graduating seniors in the Harvard Yearbook.
In addition to his Harvard activities, Stewart was the Founder and Director of the “Young Musicians’ Program” at Oregon’s Ernest Bloch Festival. As a member of the “Composer’s Symposium” at the Festival, he received numerous premières of his music (1998-2006). Since retiring from Harvard, Stewart has composed, served as Lecturer on a Harvard Alumni Tour (Fall 2008, “A Voyage Through the Danube’s Musical Heritage”), and pursued his love of watercolor painting. He is currently working on a composition for piano trio, to be premiered at the University of Mississippi in April 2010, as well as a text on the Bach Chorales.