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MARK HINTON STEWART

MUSICIAN  |  COMPOSER

BIOGRAPHY

Mark began playing the piano at the age of seven. That was soon followed by the clarinet, saxophone, organ, and choral training. A music scholarship and ABRSM Grade 8 on piano and clarinet led to a degree in Music from Exeter University, where he was the University Chapel Organ Scholar. His musical education covered all aspects and styles of music such as solo piano performing, piano accompanying for singers and instrumentalists, choral singing and organ playing for services and concerts, orchestral playing and conducting, musical theatre performing, musical theatre directing and conducting, military and wind bands, jazz and big bands and pop and rock groups. Composition and improvisation were both integral to his musical development.
 

After graduating, Mark spent a year working at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter where, amongst other things, he composed music for Declan Donellan’s acclaimed production of Martin Sherman’s BENT, and where he played keyboards for George Stiles' and Anthony Drewe’s world premiere of the musical TUTANKHAMUN.
 

Mark was then Assistant Director of Music at Bishop’s Stortford College in Hertfordshire, after which, he moved to London to work as a freelance professional musician.
 

One of Mark’s first jobs was the role of actor/pianist for Keith Strachan’s poignant production of TONIGHT: LOLA BLAU followed by on-stage pianist for the Orange Tree Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of THE LADY OR THE TIGER. He was then assistant musical director and keyboard player for the Watermill Theatre’s production of MOLL FLANDERS, and assistant musical director and pianist for award winning playwright Richard Harris' and Keith Strachan's musical FROM HERE TO MATERNITY directed by Millicent Martin.
 

Mark has since been very active on the London music scene, principally as a pianist and keyboard player, both for live work and for studio recordings. He has played with many different singers and instrumentalists (from jazz to rock and pop) and formed his own bands, most notably THIS SIDE UP with Luiz de Almeida on guitar and Dylan Howe on drums, and ELECTRIC BLUE LEMON with Giles Andrews as vocalist and lyricist. Mark also found a hidden passion for all things Brazilian, and co-founded Brazilian bands SARABANDA and AUWÊ, the former playing much of the repertoire from the Brazilian Musica Popular Brasileira (MPB) such as Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim and Caetano Veloso, and the latter playing original songs written by the band much in the style of the progressive rock of the 1970s, in particular the two CLUBE DA ESQUINA albums of Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges. As well as playing numerous times at the Jazz Café in London (including performing as the band for Clara Moreno - daughter of famous Brazilian singer Joyce), AUWÊ also opened shows for Caetano Veloso at the Barbican and for Marisa Monte at the Royal Festival Hall, and were invited to Rio de Janeiro to play in the HUMAITÁ PRA PEIXE festival, Rio's foremost festival for new music and new bands. Mark currently plays piano alongside guitarist Mo Nazam for the world music group BERAKAH.
 

As a session player, Mark has played on many film and television drama soundtracks, and has appeared on various live television shows with the likes of Bette Middler, Barry Manilow and Placido Domingo. His studio work has included keyboards for Kirsty MacColl on her album TROPICAL BRAINSTORM, and piano and keyboards for French singer Arielle’s album IMBECILE HEUREUSE produced by David Corcos and mixed by Mario Caldatto jr. Mark was also orchestral arranger and conductor for Arielle’s album (recorded at Smecky Studio, Prague), as well as string arranger and conductor for Jools Holland’s album SUNSET OVER LONDON and choir arranger and conductor for Adam F’s album KAOS: THE ANTI-ACOUSTIC WARFARE.
 

Mark’s break into composing music to picture came with the Sky Pictures feature, TUBE TALES, which led on to, amongst others, the Film Four/Tiger Aspect feature DOG EAT DOG starring Gary Kemp, Alan Davies and Melanie Blatt, and the Spice Factory/Phantom Pictures feature BABY JUICE EXPRESS starring Nick Moran, Phil Davis, Lisa Faulkner and Samantha Janus. Most recently, Mark composed the score for the film festival and internet sensation THE MAN FROM EARTH and is currently scoring the sequel, THE MAN FROM EARTH: HOLOCENE. As a composer for television drama, Mark scored all four series of the highly successful BBC1 drama, CUTTING IT, starring Amanda Holden, Sarah Parish, Jason Merrells and Ben Daniels, followed by further dramas, including BBC1’s FINAL DEMAND starring Tamzin Outhwaite, Liam Cunningham and Simon Pegg, BBC1’s 55 DEGREES NORTH starring Don Gilet and Dervla Kirwan, BBC1’s WATERLOO ROAD  starring Jason Merrells and Angela Griffin, both series of BBC1's HOLBY BLUE starring Zoe Lucker and Tim Pigott-Smith, and ITV1’s SWEET MEDICINE starring Patricia Hodge, Jason Merrells and Gillian Kearney.
 

Mark is Director of Music at All Saints' Church, Old Isleworth in West London. As organist and choirmaster, he is able to indulge his passion for composing and arranging choral music. Further details of this can be found on the COMPOSITIONS page.

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