Stuart is a native of Dexter, Michigan and a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is truly indebted to his violin teacher and mentor Stephen Shipps for essential instruction and personal guidance that has made a career in music possible. Stuart also owes a great deal to renowned English violinist and teacher Rodney Friend for his essential role in Stuart’s development.
Over the past several years, Stuart has also had the good fortune to study with highly regarded composers James Niblock, David Biedenbender, Evan Chambers, Paul Schoenfield, Michael Daugherty, and Bright Sheng. Stuart gratefully notes that all of these teachers have been significant influences on the direction his writing has taken.
Stuart enjoys traveling and is a licensed ham radio operator (W8SRC).
SOME THOUGHTS FROM STUART:“On March 8, 1996, I was born prematurely at the University of Michigan Hospital, weighing one pound and 13 ounces. I am a surviving twin. After emergency surgery, I spent 100 days in the hospital incubator with recorded music playing Beethoven, Mozart, and The Beatles (more to follow on this later).
In late 1999, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Autism gives me a variety of strengths and weaknesses not typical in the average human being. I face challenges such as a soft speaking voice, long processing time when asked a question, and problems with conversational participation. I’ve also had many physical therapies throughout my life and have several other health issues.
I’ve had many ‘passions’ about things such as doors, watches, voice recorders, radio jingles, weather stations, and ham radio, but I’ve always loved music. I vaguely remember a recognizable Mozart piece playing in my incubator as an infant. This was only the beginning to my amazing and musical journey through life. Since that time, I really love the music of performers like Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, AC/DC, Green Day, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, and many others – so much that I want to be a professional musician. As a violinist, my main goal in life is to become a player in one of the nation’s major ensembles and/or orchestras.
I hope that I can be a role model and an inspiration to young people diagnosed with autism. With that in mind, I was extremely grateful to be one of five young people selected by the 2016 VSA International Young Soloists Competition to perform at the Kennedy Center that May. My performance was dedicated to the accomplishments of people with autism everywhere. I am also very honored to have been chosen as the winner of the 2017 University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance Concerto Competition.
I love being a student at the University of Michigan and I want to say ‘thank you’ to all the wonderful people who have helped me along my journey through life: my paraprofessionals and teachers in the Dexter, MI school system; my doctors and therapists; the administration and staff at U-M (including Chef Martin); Mike Brownell; Gabriel Villasurda; David Biedenbender; and Rodney Friend. A special heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Stephen Shipps, who has helped me in countless ways.
Thank you for visiting my website! I hope that you enjoy my original arrangements and compositions, as well as my recent performances.”