Our music director

Brent Stewart

“I’m motivated by the belief that music is the greatest way to unite, share, inspire, grow, learn and express the human condition. I am inspired by making music more accessible for both audiences and performers through understanding and enjoyment.”

Brent was appointed Music Director of The Orpheus Choir Wellington, New Zealand’s largest symphonic choir in 2014. He is also the Assistant Director and pianist for the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, Principal Percussionist of Orchestra Wellington, and a casual percussionist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He is the Music Director of the National Youth Symphonic Winds and was the Musical Director for Red, NZ Opera’s children’s opera. He was the Music Director of the Hutt Valley Orchestra from 2007 to 2016 and Head of Music at Wellington East Girls’ College for nine years.

Brent studied at Auckland University, Victoria University of Wellington and the New Zealand School of Music.
He holds a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in Classical Performance alongside a Graduate Diploma in Education. Brent has extensive experience performing and touring, both nationally and internationally. He has performed and recorded as a concerto-soloist (percussion) with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Wellington Youth Orchestra, and the Auckland Philharmonia. His recent engagements include conducting St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington, and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Brent was recently appointed Assistant Conductor for The Royal New Zealand Ballet season of Cinderella. He also directs NZSO’s live streams and, on behalf of the NZ Choral Federation, provides conductor mentoring.

What the choir say

“I’ve been led by conductors in Europe, USA and now NZ and Brent is my favourite! He brings a mischievous professionalism to rehearsals that creates an environment that’s fun and focussed on artistic excellence at the same time, That’s not easy to do.”

“I love Brent’s unrelenting positiveness and enthusiasm for music….also his constant praise of the choir. It brings out the very best in each of us.”

“Amazing, always fun, positive and full of energy. Gets the best out of the choir.”

“I usually go home with a smile on my face and that’s important. Making music must be an enjoyable experience.”

Brent is the reason I come to choir and I don’t mean that in a creepy way!!! I love his positivity, humour, extraordinary talent and confidence in us. We shine in an inclusive way under Brent’s directorship. He has my total respect for his dedication towards us and his total professionalism.”


making music accessible

People say they get more out of the music when they know a bit about it, so I always give a pre-concert talk. Here’s one I made about the wonderful Duruffle Requiem we performed a couple of seasons ago. It was an amazing night! 


Listen to more Orpheus