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Stuart Byrne (Stu)

Stuart Byrne is an extremely versatile musician. He plays a large variety of woodwind instruments from piccolo to contrabass clarinet, in a broad range of styles from jazz saxophone to classical bassoon.


He has performed live with many artists such as Il Divo, Yo Yo Ma, The Temptations, Ray Charles, Tina Arena, Hugh Jackman, Jimmy Barnes, and Jessica Mouboy. He has recorded for others such as John Farnham and David Campbell; and for feature films, short films, commercials and video games.


Stuart has performed with the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, Victorian Opera, The Australian Contemporary Opera Company, in the bands for TV shows, and for dozens of professional musical theatre productions in Melbourne and Asia. He is a member of several Melbourne bands, a guest performer with others, and has played with various chamber music ensembles.


Stuart's life as a musician began in country NSW with class recorder lessons in primary school, along with some piano lessons. Clarinet, saxophones and other instruments followed. After coming first in the state in Music in the NSW HSC, plans to study electrical engineering at the University of NSW changed. He studied instead at the University of Melbourne, learning clarinet with the late Dr Peter Clinch. That led to playing clarinet and bass clarinet in the Peter Clinch clarinet quartet from its inception until Peter's passing.


Stuart attained a Bachelor of Education (Secondary – Music). Being passionate about both performance and teaching, he embarked on a dual career as a musician and an educator. He taught in various Melbourne schools and also had a long association with Musica Viva in schools, as a member of the woodwind trio Doubling Up. The trio took chamber music into many metropolitan and rural schools across Australia.


Subsequently, a long stint as a full-time musician in the Royal Australian Air Force Band saw performances in many locations in Australia, as well as in France, Turkey, and the Middle East. Early in 2022, Stuart left full-time service with Air Force Band, and returned to freelancing and teaching.


Stuart loves all of the instruments he plays and all of the settings in which he plays them. He can remember, however, the moment he fell in love with the baritone saxophone as a teenager, and playing this magnificent instrument with the other members of the Melbourne Saxophone Quartet is one of his favourite things to do.

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