"Profoundly moving… Monumental and compelling throughout the 90-minute performance!"
"Stewart maintained an uncompromisingly close rapport with the soloists, orchestra and chorus throughout the concert. Directing from memory without a score, Stewart’s eye contact and gestures reflected his in-depth understanding of Verdi’s compositional intentions."
"Stewart guided and balanced with dynamic clarity the liturgical and operatic elements that followed the serenity of the opening moments — drawing our attention beyond any doubt to Verdi’s central conflict between terror and consolation."
"Stewart understood the musical, dynamic contrast between the pleas of post-mortal redemption and terrifying horror of Judgment Day."
"Maestro Danny Stewart was inspiring, and brought compelling emotional depth to the Santa Cruz Symphony, Chorus and soloists. They rose to an extraordinary artistic level high above their usual excellent playing."
"Bravo Maestro, orchestra, chorus and soloists for truly a monumental performance!"
Local Santa Cruz:
"Performed with superior technical skill and passionate conviction. The emotional intensity and majestic serenity of Verdi’s composition was powerfully expressed."
"Guided by Maestro Daniel Stewart’s commanding stage presence, the operatic, choral, and orchestral voices were consistently balanced and in harmony with each other."
"Stewart’s understanding of Requiem’s theatricality was apparent in his precise direction of each rhythmic contrast."
"The Symphony orchestra, Cabrillo Chorus, and guest soloists supported each other in service to Verdi’s music, making the profound quality of Requiem palpable."
"Stewart, the singers, and musicians conveyed the spiritual meaning and depth of mood."
"SCS performances go beyond entertainment to create an experience of music that is compelling and accessible to a modern audience."
"What makes the Santa Cruz Symphony so widely respected is how brilliantly it interprets on the modern stage."
Performing Arts Monterey Bay:
"Hair-raising stuff that shook the very foundations of the Mello concert hall."
"The choice of Michelle Bradley, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Stuart Neill and Peixin Chen, all with major operatic experience, was inspired. Their voices soared over the orchestra to fill the hall."
"The orchestra, for its part, was acutely responsive to conductor Stewart’s fully-memorized, finely shaped and dynamically presented vision."
"Not only one of my all-time favorite performances, but a highly memorable one as well. Daniel Stewart, his solo quartet, Cheryl Anderson’s Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus and the Santa Cruz Symphony itself have given me a fresh new impression that I will cherish."
Santa Cruz Sentinel:
"People around me were literally jumping out of their seats"
"One of the strengths of Daniel Stewart’s leadership of the Santa Cruz Symphony since he took over as music director three years ago is the high caliber of artists he has brought to the town. Last weekend was no exception. With four outstanding soloists, two of whom herald from the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist development program, a program for which Stewart had the honor of being its first conductor, the Symphony’s performance of Verdi’s “Requiem” was impressive. Their projection combined with the keen ear of Stewart that not a note of their solos and ensembles was lost amidst the rich orchestration."