Born in Baltimore in 1938, Elizabeth R. Austin received her early musical training at The Peabody Conservatory. Grace N. Cushman provided the thorough grounding in Composition, which marked Dr. Austin’s musical life. When Nadia Boulanger visited Goucher College in 1958, she awarded the composer a scholarship to study at the Conservatoire Americaine in Fontainebleau, France.
Dr. Austin has taught composition and theory at The Hartt School (University of Hartford, CT), where she earned a M.M. She and her husband, Gerhard Austin, assisted in establishing a faculty/student exchange between Hartt and the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Heidelberg-Mannheim. During her Ph.D. studies (University of Connecticut), she won First Prize in the Lipscomb Electronic Music Competition (Nashville, TN).
Other awards have included a Connecticut Commission on the Arts grant, First Prize in the IAWM’s 1998 Miriam Gideon Competition, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio residency, Donne in Musica residency, and American Music Center grants.
Performed in Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa, as well as in The United States and the Caribbean, Elizabeth Austin’s music has been received with distinction and has been broadcast worldwide, especially featured on Germany’s Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk. She serves as organist/choir director at St. Paul’s Church, Windham Center. Dr. Austin is also on the Alumni Board of The Walden School (young composers), New Hampshire.
Published by Arsis Press, Tonger Musikverlag, and Peer Musik, and recorded on the Ravello (Parma) and Leonarda labels, scores are also available through the American Composers Alliance. Dr. Teresa Crane, U. Illinois, wrote a dissertation on Austin’s song cycles (2007). A chapter on Austin’s music is included in: Women of Influence in Contemporary Music: Nine American Composers by Dr. Michael K. Slayton (Scarecrow Press). The online journal SCOPE also featured Austin’s music (Winter, 2011: p.22 ff.)
Describe your music
2009: "that I'm one and double too", a full-length opera based on Heinrich von Kleist's 'Die Marquise von O' (German and English versions); orchestral and piano/vocal scores available from composer