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Brent Stewart is a leading New Zealand conductor, percussionist, and pianist with a dynamic career spanning various prestigious roles, significant premieres, and impactful contributions to music education.


Brent's conducting engagements have included the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, St Matthew's Chamber Orchestra, and Manukau Symphony Orchestra. Appointed Orchestra Wellington's first intern assistant conductor under Marc Taddei in 2012, he remains a key guest conductor for significant projects each year.


Since 2014, Brent has been the Music Director of Orpheus Choir Wellington, leading the choir to new heights with dramatic, spectacular, and emotionally charged performances. Under his direction, the choir has presented stunning renditions of works such as Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony, Orff's Carmina Burana, Bach's B Minor Mass, and Mozart's Requiem. The choir now regularly fills concert halls, boasts the largest choir membership in its history, and is frequently engaged by orchestras such as Orchestra Wellington and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

A champion of New Zealand composers, Brent has premiered many percussion, orchestral, and choral works to critical acclaim. In 2007, he premiered Karlo Margetic’s Xylophone Concerto with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and recorded the same work as a soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Recently, he was assistant conductor for Claire Cowan’s Cinderella with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and served as Assistant Producer for NZSO’s recording of her ballet, Hansel & Gretel. In 2021, Brent conducted the New Zealand premiere of Lucy Mulgan's Red! with New Zealand Opera, and in 2023, the world premiere of Dame Gillian Whitehead’s Ngā Whetū o Matariki with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra. In 2024 Brent conducted the world premiere of Takerei Komene's emotionally charged E Kiwi E with the Wellington Brass Band and Orpheus Choir Wellington, honouring the 28th Māori Battalion.


In 2007, Brent was appointed Music Director of the Hutt Valley Orchestra. His eclectic and adventurous programming, exemplified by concerts featuring Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.3 and Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana, earned him acclaim. During his decade-long tenure, he conducted ten symphonic workshops, tackling notable repertoire including Shostakovich's Symphony No.5, Beethoven's Symphony No.9, Holst's The Planets, and Mahler's Symphony No.1.


Brent's repertoire has expanded to include contemporary pop collaborations such as Synthony, a fusion of electronic dance music and symphony orchestra, including performances at New Zealand's largest music festival, Electric Avenue, and on a floating platform at Marina Bay, Singapore. He also recently conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra alongside pop-sensation, Benee, for Benee Live with the NZSO. His musical directorship highlights include productions of Beauty and the Beast, Cavalleria Rusticana, Chicago, Les Misérables, My Fair Lady, South Pacific, and West Side Story.


Brent's contributions to music education are equally significant. He was the Head of Music at Wellington East Girls' College from 2010 to 2020, leading the school choir, Cantala, to international success, including a first-place win at the Summa Cum Laude Youth International Music Festival in Vienna. Brent continues to engage in educational projects, including workshops, mentoring, and adjudicating the New Zealand Choral Federation’s Big Sing Finale in 2023.


In demand as a percussionist, Brent is Orchestra Wellington's Principal Percussionist and acting Section Principal Timpani. He has undertaken casual work with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. In January 2024, he travelled to Tokyo for his third season of The Phantom of the Opera in Japan.

Also in demand as a pianist, Brent has been the assistant director and pianist for the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir since 2013. Since that time, the choir, auditioned every two years, has produced five albums and has toured throughout NZ and overseas, including Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and China. Brent has also accompanied at the Gisborne International Music Competition and the National Concerto Competition in Christchurch with the award-winning marimba soloist Yoshiko Tsuruta.

Brent often serves as a producer for significant recording projects for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and regularly directs the filming of their live streams.

Choir WEB  Colour -  Ebony Lamb Photogra

Professional Associations

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