Rodney Stewart studied piano and double bass at the Academy, graduating in 1952. He then went on to become a Professor of double bass at the Academy for over 30 years, in which he taught the curriculum of the LRAM, producing many successful teachers.
Rodney was a gentle, resourceful and effective teacher with a wealth of experience shared to the great advantage of his students. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 1989. Outside of the Academy, Rodney performed with the London Symphony, Philharmonia and London Philharmonic Orchestras, and was Chairman of the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Academy Principal Jonathan Freeman-Attwood said: 'Rodney was a wonderfully dedicated, courteous and inspiring teacher to many generations of professionals, as well as a brilliant bass player. I will always be grateful for his kindness and that smile which could get you through anything.'
Joe Cole, Head of Strings 2012-2022, said: 'Rodney was always an enormously positive presence at the Academy. His quiet and self-deprecating manner belied decades of truly impressive performing and teaching experience. He really brought the profession into the building and gave students a genuine taste of how a career can be. He was able to approach students as fellow musicians and illustrated his wise counsel with relevant and often very funny anecdotes and cautionary tales. I was always very grateful for his kindness and thoughtfulness, care for his students, humour and amazing stamina – particularly in later years when he still managed to commute to the Academy from High Wycombe wearing his age very lightly. He is fondly remembered by everyone who knew him.'