Composer, educator and practicing professional musician, Dr. Stewart is versed in contemporary music and higher education. He leverages traditional musicianship and composition training into personal idiosyncratic work in the music industry. His creative specialty is weaving technology into classical or traditional musics. 

His approach to teaching is student-centered with an emphasis on cultivating and maintaining trust and positive rapport. He firmly believes the best way to engage students is by starting with their musical interests and exposures, and building upon that to​ ​demonstrate skills and broaden their understanding.  

Additional areas of expertise and research practice include studio production and recording arts, songwriting, electronic music/beat making, musical/signal analysis and improvised or contemporary chamber ensembles.


Ph.D.​ - Music Composition,​ Duke University​, 2016  
      ● Committee: Dr. Scott Lindroth, Prof. Stephen Jaffe, Dr. Phil Rupprecht, Dr. Thomas DeFrantz  

M.M.​ - Music Composition, ​Rice University​, 2010 
      ● Composition Instructors: Dr. Pierre Jalbert, Dr. Karim Al-Zand, Dr. Kurt Stallmann

B.M.​ - Cello Performance and Music Composition, ​University of Arizona​, magna cum laude, 2007
      ● Cello Instructors: Prof. Nancy Green, Prof. Mark Votapek
      ● Composition Instructors: Prof. Daniel Asia, Dr. Craig T. Walsh

A.A.​ - Music, ​Pima Community College​, with honors, 2004 

Academic Background/Teaching

Private Music Instructor ​– Durham, NC,​ ​2007-present  
      ● Instruments: cello, electric/acoustic guitar, composition/harmony and live electronics

      ● Other instruction provided: production skills, practical electronics, songwriting and auxiliary strings: mandolin and ukulele

      ● Blends history, theory and technical instruction leading to students who can both read music and play by ear effectively  

Durham Jazz Workshop at Sharp Nine Gallery ​– Durham, NC,​ ​2019-present (*on hiatus due to COVID-19)  

     ●  Online instructor of synchronous courses in Advances Jazz theory, ear training and music production

     ●  Private music instructor in strings, composition, and live electronics  

     ●  Ensemble, combo and improvisation coach  

Nepris, Inc.​ – Durham, NC, ​Volunteer Instructor, ​2017-present  

     ●  Virtual instructor with online education platform that connects industry professionals with K-12 educators  

     ●  Nearly 1200 elementary, middle and high school students taught across the United States  

Lecture topics taught:  

     ●  Introduction to the Bow (upcoming) 

     ●  Form in Music Composition  

     ●  Coding in Music - Music Technology  

     ●  All About Jazz - Jazz History  

     ●  Playing Chamber Music - Music Performance  

     ●  Introduction to Symphonic Band Instruments  

High Strung Violins and Guitars ​- Durham, NC, 2018-2020 (*on hiatus due to COVID-19)  

     ●  Lead public jam sessions alongside Billie Feather - musical skills taught include improvisation, musical leadership, and ensemble etiquette while familiarizing the participants with the American song repertoire in the Jazz and American country music disciplines 

     ●  Assisted with marketing including social media, grassroots promotion, and school awareness leading to recognition by National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for community outreach

High Strung School of Music ​– Durham, NC,​ ​2013-2019  

     ● Private instrument instructor cello, guitar, composition & ukulele - arranged pieces and introduced students to chamber music ensembles within the school  

Duke University ​- Durham, NC,​ 2​011-2016 - Lab Instructor  

     ● Ear Training Lab - sight singing, keyboard proficiency, ear training lab for the Theory III sequence

Duke University ​- Durham, NC,​ 2​011-2016 - Teaching Assistant 

     ●  Music Theory and Ear Training for Non-Majors (Advanced)  

     ●  Electronic Music I: Using Soundfile Editors and Digital Audio Workstations  

     ●  Electronic Music II - Advanced: MaxMSP and Interactive Music  

Rice University ​– Houston, TX,​ ​Graduate Assistant, 2007-2009 Shepherd School of Music  

     ●  Taught classes in the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program as a music theory instructor  

     ●  Assisted with ​Exploring the Mind Through Music​, a conference uniting guests from 10 North American universities and research hospitals on music's role in human cognition and behavior  

     ●  Worked as the coordinator of ​Electric LaTex ’08​: festival of electro-acoustic music from the Louisiana-Texas area  

University of Arizona String Project ​– Tucson, AZ,​ ​2003-2007  

     ● Ensemble conductor and private cello instructor  

Pima Community College ​– Tucson, AZ,​ 2​ 002-2003

     ● Substitute teacher and music theory tutor 

Professional/Academic Awards, Honors, and Grants

●  Aleane Webb Dissertation Research Award - Duke University Graduate School (2014) 

●  Grant funding secured for Ibrida Project from the PROVOKE: Digital Sound Studies as part of the John Hope Franklin Institute for the Humanities 

●  James B. Duke Fellowship - Duke University (2009-2015)  

●  ASCAP Foundation/Morton Gould Young Composer Award (Divergence, 2008)  

●  Brown Foundation Fellowship - Rice University (2007-2008)  

●  Young Composer’s Award - Public Radio International’s From the Top - (Fallen Soldier, BMI, 2004) 

Invited Guest Teaching

Guest Lecturer  

●  Ohio University - Finding the Compositional Craft in my Professional Life - Fall 2021

●  Houston Community College - Songwriting for Composers - Spring 2020

●  Duke University - Information Studies + Sciences - Media History: Old and New - 2020 Fall  

●  Electrical and Computational Engineering - Human-Computer Interaction - Musical Interfaces: Past to Present - Fall 2018  

●  University of Wisconsin​, ​Madison - Theory and Composition - Summer Music Clinic - Summer 2004  

Guest Presenter  

●  College Art Association’s THATCamp conference in NYC in February 2014  

●  Duke University - Department of Dance - Performance and Technology - Guest Lecturer and support for students - Fall 2012, Fall 2014

● Association of Music Personnel of Public Radio Conference, Las Vegas 2005 

Compositions And Creative Work

●  “It’s Always a Ways Away” - A concert evening hosted by Kenneth Stewart, the Dance Department and Slippage Lab at Duke University - The evening consisted of contemporary and romantic classical music aided by an interactive light show and electro-acoustic elements. Works featured included traditional vocal gospel Bluegrass arranged for saxophone and cello, cello works of OIivier Messiaen, Daniel Asia and Leos Janacek and transcriptions of Francisco Tarrega, Joseph Uzoigwe and Johnny Gimble for varied ensembles (Fall 2021)

●  GeoSound ​- a virtual and interactive kinetic sound art installation created with David Zielinski, Duke University. Users can click on a floating shape and various sound files are triggered. Additionally when activated the shape will begin traveling to a new location. ​Featured part of the virtual Burning Man (BCRvr 2020) in AltspaceVR  

●  Phase Locked Loop and Modulo Games​ (​BMI)​ ​- Electric Guitar and Delay Pedal, ​premiere: Baldwin Auditorium; Durham, NC; Oct. 2015  

●  Make it Opaque​ - Voice, Viola, Percussion, Installation Art and Interactive Electronics, ​premiere by the Wet Ink Ensemble, premiere: Casbah Nightclub (defunct); Durham, NC; Dec. 2012  

●  Just When You Weren't Looking ​- Interactive performance piece for guitarist and photographer as performer with electronics, two digital projectors and 16mm projector for performance/installation - co-designed and performed with Sair Goetz, ​premiere: CHAT Festival, Jan. 2012  

●  I Flaunt the Fiends of Hell​ - Mixed Ensemble, Electronics, Video Playback, ​premiere: Duke University, performed by the Duke New Music Ensemble, Fullsteam Brewery, Dec. 2011  

●  Images of Solitude ​(BMI) - Song settings of Rainer Maria Rilke for Soprano, Flute and Piano, ​premiere: Duke University, performed by the Wet Ink Ensemble, Nov. 2011  

●  Thetastate ​- Improvising Jazz Trio and Fixed Media Playback, ​created in collaboration with and recorded by The Bad Plus, produced by Jason Richmond in coordination and Duke Performances with funding from the Lincoln Center for a residency in 2010  

●  Divergence​, ​Two Pieces for Mixed Septet​ (​ BMI)​ - ​Flute, Clarinet (doubles on Bass Clarinet), Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Piano and Percussion​, 2007 - Winner of the ASCAP Foundation/Morton Gould Young Composer Award, 2008 - world premiere Duncan Recital Hall; Houston, TX; 2009  

●  Fractured Mirror​ (BMI), for Orchestra, 2004  

●  Dreamscape Picture Frame​ (BMI) (revised), for Orchestra, 2003  

●  Fallen Soldier​ (BMI), Violoncello Solo, 2003 – Broadcast internationally and Winner of PRI’s From the Top Young Composer Award 

Works Commissioned/World Premieres

●  Minato Sakemoto - ​Scherzo​ - Cello and Bb Clarinet (2020)  

●  *Stephen Downing - ​The cello is a body.​ - Solo Cello (2019)  

●  Stephen Downing -​ This week in a while back.​ - Electric Cello, 3 Percussionists and Playback (2019)  

●  David Kirkland Garner - ​Seized like a thief​ - (2016)  

●  *Benjamin Daniels ​M ​- Cello, Electronics and Live Electronics (2015)  

●  *David Kirkland Garner - ​yxood​ - Electric Guitar and Computer (2014) 


Performance and Music Technology

Slippage Lab - Performance, Culture and Technology ​– Duke University – Durham, NC 

Research Assistant, 2011; Foundational Collaborative Artist, 2014-present   

●  Featured internationally as part of the research lab currently in residence at Duke University   

●  Supported teaching in lab on the intersections of dance, music and engineering with performance technology projects, including:   

"where did i think i was going? [moving into signal]"​ - 2015 

Conceived and Performed by Thomas DeFrantz and Kenneth Stewart, Interface Design, Music and Sound Design by Kenneth Stewart - 50 Minute theatrical production exploring questions of re-location, technology, and place through a series of five custom-created interfaces that distribute the performers in unexpected directions.   

Noted performances:   

    ●  PSI Theatre, Durham Arts Council; Durham, NC; Aug. 2014   

    ●  afroFUTUREqu##r, a festival platform of queer dance performance literature party conversation, JACK Theatre, Brooklyn, NY; Oct. 2015   

“Theoryography 4.5: we [still] queer here" 

Software engineer - This work utilizes patches for the Xbox 360 Kinect written with MaxMSP to tell a migration story of travel anticipation; missed communications and mixed identities; curiosity and regret. “theory-ography” brings artists into collaboration around its theme to engage an improvised whole that always requires the participation of its audience.   

Noted performances:   

    ● Live television studio taping: University of Michigan’s Duderstadt Center Video Studio, Sept. 2013 

Music Modules in Social Virtual Reality (VR)​ – Durham, NC – ​2020-present  

●  Created the "Educational Music Lecture Series in Social VR" (2020). Kenneth Stewart and David Zielinski.  

●  Utilized Social VR platform’s existing multi-user features to explore virtual music education, art installation and interactive live musical performance in AltspaceVR.  

●  Current modules include a Piano, Staff, Tablature, Spawner, Sequencer, WavPlayer, MIDIPlayer, MIDIReceiver, and more. Our toolkit is built on top of the Altspace Mixed Reality Environment and written in Node.js / JavaScript.  

●  Facilitates musicians, educators, and artists to more easily incorporate interactive elements, particularly audio, into their AltspaceVR worlds  

Ibrida Project​ ​–​ Durham, NC, ​2013-present  

●  Research project that focuses on the speculation, design, modification and ultimately the hybridization of musical instruments with historically-informed and carefully curated suites of embedded effects.  

●  The sensor-based electronic augmentations are an application of the Internet-of-Things paradigm into musical instrument design. 

●  Designing and reimagining violins, mandolins, guitars, cellos and new musical instruments  

Two undergraduate course syllabi created:  

●  The Tensions of the Electric Guitar - a course detailing the history of the electric guitar with an emphasis on reading and critical listening  

●  Unpacking the Technology of Tone - a hands-on lab to learn practical electronics and hardware hacking 

Dance Performances as Sound Designer and Musician

●  Feminist Theory Workshop 2016 - Duke’s Women’s Studies - Durham, NC - 2016  

●  North Carolina Dance Festival at Appalachian State University - Boone, NC - 2015  

●  North Carolina Dance Festival at Meredith College - Raleigh, NC - 2015  

●  The PSI Theatre at Durham Arts Council - Durham, NC - 2014  

●  Writing Dancing / Dancing Writing - Iowa City, IA - 2014  

●  University of Michigan’s Duderstadt Video Studio - Ann Arbor, MI - 2013  

●  Sonorities Festival - Open Fader IV - Queen's University - Belfast, Northern Ireland - 2012  

●  American College Dance Festival East-Central Region(ACDFA) - GVSU - Grand Rapids MI - 2012  

●  November Dances - Page Auditorium - Duke University - Durham, NC - 2011  

●  Past / Forward - Inlets II (Reconstruction) - American Dance Festival - Merce Cunningham Dance Company - 2010 

Other Professional Experinence

Session Producer and Musician ​– Durham, NC,​ ​2015-present  

●  Experienced performer providing stringed instrument parts and arrangements for contemporary, classical, experimental, country, and pop music  

●  Fluent and up-to-date in current trends in recording studio techniques and technologies  

●  Utilizes lo-fi, experimental textures and found sounds to add nuance and depth to tracks  

Geometric Data Analytics ​– Durham, NC,​ ​Computational Scientist, 2018-2019  

● Analysis and processing of signals and time series with geometric analytic techniques  

Duke Performances ​– Durham, NC,​ 2015-2016

●  I​nternship assisting with Social Media Strategy and Twitter Promotion,   

●  Created targeted social media strategies, including composing and scheduling tweets in aggregator apps and assisted in promoting the final push for undersold events  

●  Fostered active engagement on social media with local businesses for brand public awareness 

Software and Hardware Engineering/Design

●  Panning Pedal - designed for Eren Gumrukcuoglu’s ​Divinium​ for its remiere performance in MotorCo Music Hall by yMusic - 2015  

●  Violuino - a violin-like open sound control (OSC) controller interface with capacitive strings, contact pickups, knobs and a microcontroller - 2014  

●  Two interfaces for real-time manipulation of audio and text for the Microsoft Kinect interface - 2011, 2013  

●  Tap Dance Trigger - hardware interface to trigger a mechanical switch from tap dancer - 2013  

●  Interactive patches and piece design for John Supko’s Inland Ocean as premiered by the Ciompi Quartet - 2011

Skills and Proficiencies

● Musical Disciplines: 

●  Composition, Music Theory, Improvisation, Arranging 

●  General Musicianship: Conducting, Sight Singing (fixed and movable ‘Do’), Keyboard Skills, Tonal Harmony and Voice Leading (applied to common practice classical music as well as popular music), Aural Skills, Harmonic/Melodic Dictation 

●  Performance: Cello (acoustic and electric), Guitar (steel-string acoustic and electric) 

● Doubling: Mandolin, Ukulele, Electric Bass 

●  Audio Engineering, Production and Studio Recording:​ microphone types, placement and compression, vocal recording and shaping - digital editing, mixing and mastering, pitch/time correction, live looping and layering 

●  Live Sound Reinforcement:​ performing arts venues (line arrays) and nightclubs (mixing boards, aux effects and PA amplification and spatialization), DIY concert/show promotion, pop-up shows and alternative/indie venues 

●  Music and Audio Software (Selection):​ MaxMSP, SuperCollider, Logic Studio X, Pro Tools, Ableton Live Suite and Max for Live, Waves Plugins, Kontakt, Dorico, Sibelius and Finale 

●  Computer Programming:​ Javascript, some Python, Jupyter Notebooks 

●  Electrical Engineering / Electronic Design Concepts: ​Analog circuit design, digital circuit design, vacuum tube electronics, printed circuit board layout CAD design, Atmel 8-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers, Eagle, I2C and SPI serial communication, Internet-Of-Things design, ‘Internet of Things’, wearable and embedded design, soldering and hardware troubleshooting 

●  Woodworking:​ Table saw, CNC machining (CAD/CAM and G-Code), band-saw, lathe, routers, planers, hand tooling, drill press 

●  General Software Proficiencies:​ Microsoft Office Suite; Adobe Creative Suite (including Photoshop, Illustrator) 

●  Languages:​ fluent in English; moderately proficient in written German