John Stewart

At what age did you start playing the instrument you play in the PSO? Did you learn another instrument first?

At fourteen I enjoyed playing the sousaphone, and they handed me a string bass. When I was fifteen, the bass they gave me had a seam that had opened and I went home and glued it, thus starting me repairing stringed instruments.

Why did you choose your current instrument?

They told me all tuba players also play double bass. I thought it was a law.

How long have you played with the PSO?

Ten years

Where do you live?

Hampton Beach, NH

Do you play with any other groups?

NH Phil, Seacoast Wind Ensemble, Exeter Town Band, Willows Concert Band

What do you like about playing with a symphony orchestra?

Being totally surrounded by the sound and the energy of all the performers and our audience

How do you spend your time outside of the PSO?

For over fifty years I’ve been a luthier, and up until three years ago a lighting designer and a free lance theater techie

What is your favorite piece of music to play on your instrument?

Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, and anything by Prokofiev, especially Peter and the Wolf

Tell me about your musical education.

Two years at Hartt College of Music

Anything else of note you want to share? 

I may be the only person who has narrated Peter and the Wolf while playing in the orchestra