Stuart McDonald


Hometown: Bedford, United Kingdom

Alma maters: Royal Academy of Music, Boston University

Photo by Matt Dine


What is your earliest memory of classical music? Watching the BBC Proms on the TV when I was a toddler.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? At the age of 12 when I played in a full symphony orchestra for the first time, playing Brahms’ Symphony No. 4.

What inspired you to audition for TŌN? A friend of mine was considering the program and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to progress in my career.

Who is your biggest inspiration? My parents

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? I love playing music by French composers, especially Debussy and Ravel.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? Having the opportunity to play for Maxim Vengerov in a masterclass.

What is some advice you would give to your younger self? Quality over quantity

Favorite non-classical musician or band: Vulfpeck

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why? Anywhere in Italy, because of the amazing food and the generosity and hospitality of the people.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with? John Lennon, Leonard Bernstein, and Peter Kay

Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Never compare yourself to other musicians.