Meet the New York pianist who has become a global music icon

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TORONTO, Canada — In the old days pianist Stewart Goodyear could almost predict the song he would play that day. Like a lot of people, for years he sat at his Steinway, making a list of songs. But on this occasion, he had no idea what he would play. He sat down, with no song at all. And then, he loved it.

“It felt great to just get up there and play without a preconceived idea,” Goodyear told us.

So as he played, the music just took him.

“It was just this casual thing, but there was this sort of commonality that I felt. And I kept going from there.”

The pianist went on to inspire many others with that instinctive sense of melody and balance. But Goodyear experienced his own feeling of like destiny as he began working with composers in the United States.

“I found out that a lot of the composers here had been influenced in their writing by a lot of the different keyboard players and whatnot who had been around. It kind of made sense with the song idea, that I could bring a little of my own personality back to it. I could bring some form of individuality. And I was definitely the rare individual who could do that.”

Not content to work alone, Goodyear gave the Royal Conservatory of Music permission to record his piano playing. The result: a beautiful album of Goodyear’s solo, unaccompanied piano work.

In October of 2008, Goodyear moved to New York.

“I moved to New York and basically the day I moved out, I found out about this orchestra here at the Royal Conservatory called, Concerts of Contemporary Music (and) really just the passion and the vision of that orchestra has really inspired me to continue on in what I do.”

After finding time to get acclimated, Goodyear finally started taking classes at the Conservatory.

“I was aware of the building, but having actually gotten there I was able to get some sort of an undergraduate degree which is very unique to this school. I didn’t have to take any of these classes in New York.”

In September, Goodyear will begin his final masters degree, with an emphasis on conducting.

“Having to balance all these different parts of my life and this expansive place that I’m in now, it’s really quite an exciting new beginning.”

A new beginning, where he can really listen to all the music he’s loved all these years and, again, take it apart and build it from the ground up.

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