The American tenor, John Stewart, began his serious musical studies as instrumentalist rather than vocalist, starting with violin lessons when he was only 7 and later going on to piano and viola. Later he attended Western Reserve Academy. It was there that he continued his studies in piano, viola and music theory and began composing music of his own. He also founded a literary magazine for the school and distinguished himself on it varsity track and soccer teams. He went on to Yale, where he majored in composition under Mel Powell, studied singing with Blake Stern, served as assistant director of the Yale Glee Club and appeared as soloist every weekend with the "Whiffenpoofs". He also toured Europe as string bass with the Yale Concert Band and a jazz octet composed of band members.
To date John Stewart has mastered leading roles in a repertoire ranging from Monteverdi's Orfeo, to Alban Berg's Lulu. In addition to the New York City Opera and the Santa Fe Opera, he has appeared in this country with the opera companies of Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Houston, San Antonio, and San Diego and abroad with the opera companies of Amsterdam, Geneva and Wexford, Ireland, as well as singing the lead role in Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten at the New York City Opera.