“Resident conductor Ward Stare is by now familiar to St. Louis audiences for pops and Youth Orchestra performances. Friday night’s performance was his first regular St. Louis Symphony Orchestra subscription program.
He definitely has the chops to conduct at that level. Stare is a compelling figure on the podium, clear in his commands and graceful in his movements and the music still sounds good with one’s eyes closed…The performance deserved the huge ovation it received from the large audience.” - Saint Louis Post-Dispspatch, November 2009
“Stare demonstrated a fine rapport with the players and a real feel for the music, particularly in the program's three examples of Russian Romanticism: the final movement from Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade," Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Piotr Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" Fantasy-Overture. He invested them with finely-attuned balance and mature understanding. The Tchaikovsky, in particular, got a big, sweeping finish that managed to be lush and impressive, but not overblown. All the signs indicate that this is a young conductor who's going places.” -STL Post-Dispatch, May 2009
“Ward Stare, the orchestra’s able young resident conductor, took Mr. Robertson’s place on the podium….Under Mr. Stare the musicians performed this circus of a score, which has parts for toy instruments, household items (paper bags that get blown up and popped) and hose pipes. More than fun, the piece touches the dark side of childhood fantasy during ethereal passages, wrong-note chorales and bursts of fearsomely pummeling rhythms.”
-The New York Times, April 2009
"...Stare was just terrific, leading the eclectic score with confidence and style; the musicians followed along perfectly."
-STL Post-Dispatch, April 2009
"At ease and assured in his surprise Carnegie Hall debut, Ward Stare led the orchestra in a dynamic performance that ranged from coaxing to merry to downright sinister." -MusicWeb International, April 2009
“His conducting of Barber's 1942 piece was clear and vibrant, with a keen ear for phrasing, balance and pacing. Stare conveyed the music's lyrical outpourings and fugal gestures with equal aplomb, and he made fine contact with the players before him.” -The Plain Dealer, August 2007