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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, she awarded the composer a scholarship to study at the Conservatoire Americaine in Fontainebleau, France.
Dr. Austin has taught composition and theory in Hartford, Connecticut. Her association with The Hartt School (University of Hartford), where she earned an M.M., included the establishment of a faculty/student exchange with 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).
Other awards have included a Connecticut Commission on the Arts grant, First Prize in the IAWM’s 1998 Miriam Gideon Competition, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, and an American Music Center grant.
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 Capstone and Leonarda labels, scores are also available through the American Composers Alliance. Dr. Teresa Crane, U. Illinois, wrote a dissertation on her 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 featured Austin’s music (Winter, 2011: p.22 ff.)