Stuart was born in Carshalton, was a chorister at Winchester Cathedral and was a music scholar at Stowe School. There he began composing, soon winning a national competition for a Christmas carol run by the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus in 1986. From Stowe he went to RAM, studying organ and composition. There his flair for composition flourished after he was introduced to the church music course run by Patrick Russill, and he became the first RAM postgraduate to specialise in church music. He then went on to be Director of Music for the Cathedral and Diocese of Leeds where he wrote many compositions and arrangements. He is now Director of Music at Caterham School and has recently won The Times carol competition 2011 for his setting of 'The Holly and the Ivy' which will receive its premiere at the Cadogan hall in December and will be 'carol of the day' on Radio 3 on December 23rd 2011. His arrangement of 'Mary's Boy Child' will be broadcast from Leeds Cathedral on BBC 2 Sunday Half Hour on December 18th.