Pianist Stewart Goodyear posing in a tunnel of piano harps at the Steinway Factory in Long Island. (courtesy artist website)
Twenty years ago, Stewart Goodyear performed his first major piano concerto with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. He was 12.
Now, twenty years later, he returns to play another piano concerto with the MCO under the direction of Anne Manson. Only this time, he wrote it! That takes place Wednesday November 23, 7:30 p.m. at Westminster United Church.
You can hear Stewart Goodyear on Up to Speed with host Larry Updike Wednesday November 23 at 3:30 p.m.
SCENE wanted to know what makes Stewart Goodyear tick. So we asked him five fast questions at the airport on his way to Winnipeg:
What do you remember from your first performance with the Manitoba
I remember every moment of that first performance with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; the wonderful working relationship with the musicians, their enthusiasm for every piece they performed, the warm audience at Westminister United Church...even my grandmother telling me to eat something at the reception because I was getting too skinny (I was not!).
At what point did you decide to try your hand at composing?
I decided to compose when I attended St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto at age 8. My first compositions were motets for the choir, and ever since then I have had the composing bug which inspires me to write in different genres for different musical forces.
What does it feel like to play your own concerto versus one by another
The challenge of performing a piece I have written is to always keep in mind that I am the interpreter of this piece as well as the composer, and therefore, as an interpreter, I must be a servant to what is written. I am communicating this work to an audience that has not heard it before. That is the challenge.
Please describe an average day in your life.
An average day for me is: waking up, drinking my mug of coffee, writing down a few ideas, practicing, reading...and then practicing some more. I try to get most of my work done early so that I have my evenings free to relax or hang out with friends.
If you weren't a pianist/composer, what would you be?
I cannot imagine being anything else...This has been a passion since I was 3 years old.
And here to demonstrate that passion, is a Youtube video with Stewart Goodyear: