About Me

Who I Am

Stuart Brown (obviously), born in 1955 (work it out). I wanted to be a composer from around the age of seven, but I kept it as a hobby because it seemed a rather precarious way to earn a living. By profession I'm an international development consultant and have worked in 38 countries between Chile in the west and Vietnam in the east.

I was adopted when I was eight weeks old and my adoptive parents were not musical. My father encouraged my interest in science (which I still enjoy). Music is in my genes, though, as I later discovered. So I guess I have a pretty unusual combination of experience and abilities.

Influences

There have been many influences on my musical view of things over the years, but perhaps the most relevant have been Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, Benjamin Britten, William Walton, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Olivier Messiaen. However there's also a fair bit of rock, jazz and folk that I've assimilated over time, from groups such as Yes, Jethro Tull and Capercallie, and artists such as Dave Grusin (who remains my favourite jazz pianist).
I guess that explains the diversity of my music, from modes of limited transposition in 'A Himalaya Concerto' and 'Nocturne' to the eclectic fusion of rock, Renaissance and Greek traditional styles in 'Masquerade' (which had a five-year-old Vietnamese girl dancing around a room in Hanoi!)

Masquerade

I compose on impulse in response to need. Ironically my very best music has been written in response to situations of great personal tragedy, such as the premature death of a young lady, the devastation caused by the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal or human rights abuses in Burma.

My main instruments are the piano and the recorders. I used to play the oboe also, which is why my music often features quite exquisite oboe parts. Though not completely self-taught my technique is distinctly unorthodox (e.g. glissandi on a recorder or playing two recorders at once).

I am happily married (since 1978), with a son, a daughter and four lovely grandchildren. I've been a committed Christian since 1975. Although based in southwest England I have travelled widely in my work as a development consultant. I enjoy cooking Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Moroccan, Italian and Spanish cuisines.

My Skills

Composing and arranging
Conducting and playing
Policy implementation planning

What Other People Say