In the fall of 2012, Stewart was appointed conductor of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and working closely with these outstanding artists at the beginning of their careers has enabled him to bring them to Santa Cruz. Earlier this year Chinese baritone 25-year-old Yunpeng Wang gave a thrilling rendition of Mahler's "Songs of a Wayfaring Lad." This time Stewart brought soprano Ying Fang who delighted the audience in Bach's "Wedding Cantata" and the "Bachiana Brasileira No. 5" by Villa-Lobos. Fang was able to seamlessly transition from Baroque to 20th century music in the twinkling of an eye. What supreme artistry!
The orchestral soloists responded well to the assertive conducting of maestro Stewart who thanked each member of the orchestra individually on stage at the end of the concert in a gesture indicative of his close relationship to this orchestra which continues to grow and flourish."