Donald J. Stewart, founder and curator of soundX, was born in Seattle, but grew up on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Arlee, MT. The mystery, topography, the Salish people and language of the Pacific Northwest lives in Donald and his work as composer. Diverse elements and philosophies inspire Donald’s music, from medieval art and mysticism, to the philosophies of Jacques Maritain and Heidegger, through the techniques of Francis Bacon and Gerhard Richter.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts at Gonzaga University, majoring in both music composition and broadcast studies, while studying composition under J. Kevin Waters. He was awarded a Masters of Music at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Allen Sapp. Donald earned post graduate diplomas from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena under Franco Donatoni and Giorgio Magnanensi and from Gruppo Aperto Musicale Oggi in Florence under Sylvano Bussotti.
Donald’s music is performed by internationally recognized performers including the ensemble proton bern, Garth Knox, the Andersson/Jacoberger/de Saram Trio, the Avena Ensemble, Quasar Saxophone Quartet and Richard Craig. His music has been featured at Fundación Música AntiquaNova’s Distat Terra Festival (Argentina), Bern Switzerland’s PROGR_Zentrum für Kulturproduktion, Washington State University’s Festival of Contemporary Art Music, Western Washington University’s Sound Culture, Vancouver New Music, the SALT Festival(Victoria, BC) and Fylkingen in Stockholm (Sweden). In 2016 Donald became a Fellow of the prestigious Civita Institute in Civita di Bagnoregio (Italy).