Michael Stewart is at the forefront of the younger generation of choral conductors in New Zealand, as well as being one of the country’s leading concert organists. He is currently Music Director of The Tudor Consort, Organist and Director of Music of Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, and a member of Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir.
Michael was awarded a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the University of Canterbury and also held the inaugural John Robert Godley Organ Scholarship to Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch. He was the recipient of a Dame Malvina Major Arts Excellence Award in 2002, which enabled him to pursue further study at McGill University (Montréal, Canada). He was awarded a McGill Organ Scholarship and graduated with a Master of Music degree majoring in organ performance in 2004. He has recorded for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Radio New Zealand - Concert. He has recorded two solo organ CDs: Puissant and Ave maris stella.
Since becoming Music Director of The Tudor Consort in 2007, Michael has continued the standard of choral excellence which this renowned early-music ensemble is noted for. He has broadened the repertoire to include music from the early Tudor composers through to the 20th Century, and has led critically-acclaimed performances of Handel’s Messiah and JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
In 2011 Michael led The Tudor Consort in their 25th Anniversary Season, including a critically-acclaimed performance of Tallis's Spem in Alium. Future projects for 2012 include a recording of Antoine Brumel's Missa Et ecce terrae motus (The 'Earthquake'Mass) with all proceeds going to the music department of ChristChurch Cathedral.
In June 2011 Michael was appointed Organist and Director of Music at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, the first New Zealander in many years to hold this position. Prior to this, Michael was Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Wellington.
"Michael Stewart is able to draw extraordinary things from his forces." - Capital Times (2010)
“The fame of The Tudor Consort… seems to ensure a series of gifted conductors able to draw from the singers performances of supreme artistry.” — The Dominion Post (2008)
“Michael Stewart… is maintaining the ensemble perfection, expressive variety and stylistic awareness that have always been the choir’s greatest distinction” — The Dominion Post (2007)