Performing Arts Monterey Bay
'A virtuoso display from start to finish. The Santa Cruz team of musicians took obvious confidence from a conductor who, with laser-etched technical authority and equally focused podium charisma, also gave the full-house audience a master class in what a podium artist is supposed to do.'
'As SC audiences have come to expect, Stewart seemed to be everywhere at once, tossing out cues like a Las Vegas poker dealer, and reveling in the way his musicians played their hands. No hesitation or uncertainty was detectable and none of the counterpoint blurred.'
'Once again, Stewart scaled the dynamics, brought out the inner voices—and organized his approach around a leading musical line. He did it all by heart. It was fleet, transparent and, yes, hair raising, just what every Beethoven lovers wants to hear.'
'This concert took the audience into its grip with no equivocation. The orchestra was sensational from beginning to end, and particularly spectacular in the opulent Adams and Bernstein scores.'
‘What a fabulous result!’
'The fortunate audience witnessed a performance that will be etched in the back of their craniums forever. The highly anticipated Beethoven Symphony No. 7 under the direction of Santa Cruz Symphony Music Director Danny Stewart raised the bar for this work by what appeared to be an insurmountable measure. The orchestra performed brilliantly!'
'Maestro Stewart cued in the entrances with a precision that held together the digital like repetitions that little by little took on interesting shape, form and yes, a foxtrot! The sudden pauses and tempo changes were well placed and performed.'
'Impressive Latin rhythmic punctuations, superb drumming and three stand-up trumpeters towards the finale were executed with spot on perfection!'
'The Beethoven Symphony No. 7 can be best described in one word: Glorious!'
'Meticulous attention to dynamics and the precise rhythmic structure … performed to an amazing musical level!'
'Stewart’s conducting included a mixture of sweeping and detailed moments that created pin sharp textures. The balance between orchestral song-like quality and rhythm was electrifying.'
'The entire symphony reflected Stewart’s satisfying mixture of imagination, intuition and excellent musical sense!'
Local Santa Cruz
'Through their virtuosity, Maestro Daniel Stewart and the orchestra communicated vivid impressions of diverse people, places, and experiences linked with bodily motion. Together they conveyed with energy and commitment each composer’s emotional depth and musical range, revealed elements of dance throughout, and all but brought us to our feet during the performance to participate in it.'
'The orchestra created a vibrant image of the personalities, cultural fusion, and nostalgic exchange that inspired Adams’ music. Gracefully performing music laced with intricate and alternating tempos, the musicians evoked the spirited movement of the Foxtrot as danced by Chinese leader Mao Zedong and his charismatic mistress Chiang Ch’ing during the historic visit with President Nixon and his wife Pat.'
'An outstanding performance. Reinforced by their combined skills and techniques, the orchestra powerfully conveyed the various rhythms and styles of movement and elevated the emotional intensity of both Adams and Bernstein’s music.'
'The Symphony reflected the legendary steps and score with each explosive burst and lilting sway of the music.'
'The music reflects both the devastating tragedy and the celebratory victory that characterized this time and defines the human experience. The orchestra expressed this dynamic with passion and vitality and evoked the power of musical and dance storytelling.'
'Throughout the entire concert, Maestro Stewart inspired the musicians and audience with his dramatic emphasis, most memorably in the final moments of Symphony No. 7 when, as the movement builds in intensity, he swept musicians and audiences up in a fully charged, “dance till you drop” crescendo.'