Peninsula Reviews:

“Like the tortoise found in Hindu mythology, appearing capable of carrying the heavens on its back, one hears and witnesses towering achievements from our young conductor.”

“In order to reach such heights, Maestro Stewart has created an impressive musical atmosphere based on mutual respect and partnership.”

“When this occurs, impressive musical results are the artistic consequence, a fact the supportive audience has experienced during his tenure. “

“He has built the technical quality of the orchestra much in the manner of the late Pierre Boulez, and his contemporary Esa-Pekka Salonen now of the San Francisco Symphony, who forever look for perfection in details and refinement in the intimacy of the works they perform. “

“Especially evident was the orchestra’s sound in the Mozart Symphony No. 40. The orchestra’s development sounded like an impressive “major big city orchestra”! San Francisco take note!”

“Orchestral Mozart at its best shined with brilliance, and the maturity of Stewart’s thoughts on the music were pertinent and achieved unrestrained overall exhilaration.”

“As a final departing gesture, the orchestra performed an encore of Schumann’s Träumerei, touching and wonderfully done. BRAVO Maestro and orchestra!”

Local Santa Cruz:

“Under Maestro Daniel Stewart’s visionary direction, the Santa Cruz Symphony proves yet again its commitment to present groundbreaking music on local stages.”

“A contemporary pièce de résistance from Wineglass – the auspicious World Premiere of “Bonny Doon. SCS musicians gave a spirited performance that conjured up the sensations of a bird in flight with cinematic brilliance. Through his music, Wineglass captures the essence of the California Coast so vividly that even those unfamiliar with it will be able to imagine and appreciate its unique beauty.  The short piece was a thrilling ride ending with an enthusiastic standing ovation.”

“The orchestra also showed great ease and agility navigating the technical challenges of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40.  SCS musicians work as a powerful collective, showing orchestral balance that blends impressive technical skill with emotional substance.  Their performance expressed the shifting moodiness of Mozart’s Symphony with precision and depth, illuminating the composer’s greatness at conveying the human experience, and making the feeling of intensity transparent and relatable for listeners.”

“In their performances, Stewart and his orchestra maintain the highest levels of artistic integrity in an atmosphere that feels welcoming and accessible. The Santa Cruz Symphony continues to elevate the arts in this community, defining what makes classical music transformative.”