Stewart Lynell Gordon is a musician, teacher, writer, editor, composer, and impresario. He holds the position of Professor of Keyboard Studies at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California in Los Angles. As a performing pianist, he has played concerts throughout the world and recorded extensively, both to critical acclaim. As a teacher and author he has produced textbooks, essays, videotapes, and editions. As a composer, his musical theater works have been produced from coast to coast, and as an impresario, he has directed music festival and competitions over the past decades in New York, Washington, and Savannah.
Born to the distinguished poet and novelist Guanetta Gordon and a career military officer Lynell Frank Gordon, Stewart Gordon grew up in many parts of the world, locations where his father served in the United States Army. Thus Stewart was able to receive music instruction from a number of different teachers, some of them very famous: Olga Samaroff, Walter Gieseking, Cecile Genhart, and Adele Marcus.
After serving as a junior officer in the United States Navy for three years, he began his academic career at Wilmington College in Ohio. He then taught for more than two decades at the University of Maryland in College Park, where for six years he was chair of the Department of Music. It was at the University of Maryland that he created the international piano competition now known as the William Kapell and acted as its director for thirteen years.
He then served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Queens College of the City University of New York. For Queens College he created and directed the New York area-wide Cultural Heritage Competitions, as well as the Great Gospel Competitions.
Since 1988 he has served at his present academic post at the University of Southern California. At the same time he began to work with the Savannah, Georgia, community to create an annual music festival and competition. The Savannah Onstage Music Festival and the American Traditions Competition resulted, and he continued to act as artistic director for both events until 2002.
Since 1979 Stewart has shared his
home with Jonathan Christopher Reynolds III. Over the years they have enjoyed
a family of many pets, dogs, cats, and fish, but mostly with several generations
of bull terriers. The dogs and cats are all named after famous historical or mythological
figures: Apollo, Galahad, Lancelot, Jupiter, Zeus, Trojina, Hercules, Andromeda,
Sampson, Socrates, Louis XIV, Angela, and Rex.. They collect vintage automobiles
(1960's Imperials), period furniture, and art objects. They are avid movie buffs
and boast a videotape and DVD collection of well over a thousand films. They make
their Southern California Home in Rancho Palos Verdes on a hill overlooking the
Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.