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Austin Chanu | pura musica

A recipient of the 2024 and 2023 Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation U.S., Brazilian-American conductor Austin Chanu is currently the Assistant Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, where he assists Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Austin Chanu made his subscription debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in April 2023 conducting Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Critics commended his interpretation saying, “the orchestra never sounded better as Chanu led with primal energy and shamanistic insight into the music… the orchestra matched Chanu’s confident leadership in a performance of searing energy and heart-thumping passion” (Broad Street Review).

He has recently appeared as a guest conductor with the Filarmonica Banatul Timișoara, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Omaha Symphony. He has worked with prominent conductors including Esa Pekka Salonen, Herbert Bloomstedt, Stéphane Denève, and Marin Alsop.

Austin is currently co-leading a project with The Philadelphia Orchestra to restore, rebuild, and elevate the underperformed works of American composer William Grant Still. In this context, he recently led the world premiere of a newly restored edition of Still’s “Wood Notes” that he helped create.

Stemming from his background as a composer, he has a passion for contemporary music. He served as a teaching artist and conductor for the LA Philharmonic Association’s Associate Composer Program, as well as a Conducting Fellow at the 2022 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where he studied with conductor Cristian Măcelaru. He was commissioned by the Eastman School of Music to compose an orchestral work for the school’s centennial celebration and conducted its world premiere in the fall of 2021.

Previously, Austin Chanu was Music Director for the Los Angeles Music and Art School, where he conducted and developed the artistic direction for the youth orchestra, choirs, and jazz band. Drawing on his Latino heritage he found it rewarding to foster representation for the predominantly Latinx students and families in the program through repertoire selection.

In addition to his orchestral background, Austin has extensive experience in jazz and musical theatre styles. While living in Los Angeles, he was a high-call woodwind performer for musical pit orchestras and jazz ensembles. He received a B.M. in Music Composition from the USC Thornton School of Music in 2015, graduating Magna cum Laude. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 2021 with an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting.

pura musica is pleased to represent Austin Chanu worldwide (exclusive) with the exception of Eastern Europe (non exclusive). Please get in touch with us for booking inquiries and further information.

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