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(available in the Officer Portal document library)


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Elizabeth R. Austin*   

*SAI Member

 You are invited to visit the composer's website for more information.



Elizabeth AustinBorn in Baltimore in 1938, Elizabeth Austin received her early musical training at the Peabody Conservatory Preparatory Department. When Nadia Boulanger visited Goucher College (Towson, MD), where Elizabeth Austin was a liberal arts music student, she awarded the composer a scholarship to study at the Conservatoire Americaine in Fontainebleau, France.

Elizabeth Austin has taught composition and theory at various music institutions in Hartford, Connecticut. Her association with the Hartt School (University of Hartford), where she earned a Master's in Music while on the faculty, continues on an unofficial basis through a faculty/student exchange with the Staatliche Hochschule far Musik Heidelberg-Mannheim, which she helped to initiate in 1990.

While studying for her Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut, Elizabeth Austin won First Prize in the David Lipscomb Electronic Music Competition for her Klavier Double for piano and tape (1983). In 1996, she received a Connecticut Commission on the Arts award to write a ballet-oratorio. International recognition has included her selection by GEDOK (Society of Women Artists in German-speaking countries) to represent the Mannheim-Ludwigshafen region in the national seventieth-year anniversary exhibition (Spring, 1996) in Lubeck. Mannheim is her home for three months of every year, where she enjoys critical acclaim. In June, 1998, GEDOK sponsored a retrospective concert of Austin chamber music in Mannheim to critical acclaim. Other performances in 1998 occur in Finland, Italy, Germany, as well as in Virginia, Nebraska, and Connecticut.

Additionally, Dr. Austin has received recent recognition, firstly, through the selection of her cello octet, Water Music I. Beside still waters... to be performed in Fiuggi, Italy (9/98), as part of the international Donna in Musica Festival, then through a First Prize in the 1998 IAWM's Miriam Gideon Composition Competition for her latest chamber work, A Hommage for Hildegard (von Bingen).

Being called upon to translate books and scholarly papers and to act as interpreter for Germanspeaking composers has brought her into contact with preeminent musicians both here and abroad. She and her husband, Gerhard Austin, bring German and American culture together; for instance, in 1997, there was a mutual international exchange between Connecticut Composers, Inc. and Brandenburg composers, supported by the Musikakademie Rheinsberg (Germany). When she is in Connecticut, Dr. Austin is organist at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Windham Center.

Published by Arsis Press and Peter Tonger Verlag and recorded on the Capstone label, Elizabeth Austin is also represented on the 1994 Society of Composers CD and Journal. Her scores are also available through the American Composers Alliance.


Annual Updates



Wachet auf...der Morgenstern (2006) for organ solo, Barbara Harbach, organ; New York Women Composers, March 2011.


Frauenliebe und –leben for soprano & piano; Portland, ME, Conservatory Festival; Chandler Thompson, voice, Elizabeth R. Austin, piano, April 2011.


Chapter on Elizabeth Austin’s music included in Women of Influence in Contemporary Music: Nine American Composers, Michael K. Slayton, editor, Scarecrow Press, 2010. Austin’s music featured in SCOPE Magazine, Winter11,




Prayer for a Christian Burial for soprano & piano (organ), poem by Bede Jarrett, O.P.; premiere date 11/7/10 in Windham, CT by Deborah Russel, soprano with composer at organ.


Frauenliebe und-leben (A Woman’s Love and Life), for soprano and piano, poem by Adelbert Chamisso.  Eun-Jung Auh, soprano; Teresa Crane, pianist.  Duration: 15:01; on CD: “Spectra, A Concert of Vocal Music by Connecticut Composers, Inc.”, Arizona Univ. Recordings CD 3148




Pianist Ulrich Urban presented Puzzle Preludes, which included the premiere of a new prelude, February 1, 2009, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Brainstorm for concert double bass and piano, was introduced by Allan Von Schenkel and Kristin Williams, March 21, Women Composers Festival, Hartford, CT; the same performers presented the work again on May 18 for the North/South Consonance and New York Women Composers, New York, NY.


I Heard a Funeral in My Brain for carillon (inspired by Emily Dickinson), by The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA).



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