Cellist AUSTIN HUNTINGTON made his solo orchestral debut at the age of 10 and is the recipient of numerous Grand prize and First place awards on both the National and International levels. Austin has performed as guest soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, South Bend Symphony Orchestra, LaPorte Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra to name a few. Among his engagements next season, he will make his solo debut with orchestras such as the Muncie Symphony Orchestra (gala opening concert for their 2012-2013 season), the Idaho State-Civic Symphony Orchestra, the Marin Symphony, the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra, and preform in recitals through programs such as Noontime Concerts (San Francisco, CA) and Music in the Vineyards (Napa Valley, CA).
Most recently, Austin was awarded the 2012 Irving M. Klein International String Competition Marvin T. Tepperman Memorial First Prize and the Allen R. and Susan E. Weiss Award (for the best performance of the commissioned work). The previous year, he was awarded the 2011 Stulberg International String Competition Burdick-Thorne Gold Medal and Bach Award (for the best performance of a Bach solo work). In 2009, Austin was declared the National First-Place winner of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) solo performance competition held in Atlanta. Prior to this, he won his state and subsequent five-state regional competitions. In addition to the previously named competitions, he has also been awarded the Grand prize and First place awards in the following Young Artist Competitions: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic (both the Junior and Senior divisions), the Society of American Musicians (Chicago, both 2005 and 2006), the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra.
In Fall 2010, Austin was invited to perform in the 2010 Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses, held in Kronberg, Germany. The previous year he was selected as one of six cellists representing the United States invited to compete in the 2009 Rostropovich International Cello Competition, held in Paris, France. That same year, on invitation from the IBLA foundation of New York, Austin performed a series of concerts for both the public and members of a distinguished jury in Sicily, Italy. He was awarded the highest honor of Most Distinguished Artist and as a result, was invited to perform on the two-week IBLA Grand Prize Winner’s USA Tour, ending with his New York debut at Carnegie Hall.
Austin has been invited to perform in Master class for exceptionally regarded musicians such as Truls Mork, Gary Hoffman, Steven Doane, Lynn Harrell, Joel Krosnick, Ron Leonard, Paul Katz, Richard Aaron, and Robert Nagy, to name a few. He has collaborated with such highly esteemed concert artists as Riccardo Muti, Misha Amory, James Dunham, Yo Yo Ma, and Itzhak Perlman.
Austin is currently Principal Cellist of the award-winning Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) and Encore, the CYSO’s premiere performing ensemble. This summer Austin will tour Spain performing with the CYSO in important halls and venues in major cities. At the young age of ten, he served as the Principal Cellist of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra (2004-2006) and as the cellist of the SBYSO String Quartet, which was awarded the 2006 Kenneth Geoffroy Memorial Award, awarded to the highest ranked regional ensemble by the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Austin will attend the Aspen Music Festival and School this summer, and has attended the prestigious Perlman Music Program on Shelter Island, New York, and the Perlman Music Program Winter Residency in Sarasota, Florida for the past 3 years. Past summers he has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, Colorado; the Quartet Program in Fredonia, New York; the Academie Internationale de Musique de Montpellier, France; the Meadowmount School of Music, New York; Indiana University String Academy in Bloomington, Indiana; Credo Chamber Music Festival in Oberlin, Ohio; and the U.S. Eastern Music School in Colgate, New York. Mr. Huntington’s previous teachers are Richard Hirschl, Hans Jorgen Jensen, and Emilie Grondin.
Austin is eighteen years old and studies with Ronald Leonard at The Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where he is a freshman. He plays a cello made by Francesco Ruggieri of Cremona c.1690 and a fine cello bow made by Eugene Sartory, c.1930.