(He/Him) I am a double bassist whose practice centers the creation of living music, through active collaboration with composers. I am most at home in small ensembles, though my technique has a firm grounding in the orchestral tradition of the Common Practice Era. I take these skills both as a basis of communal understanding and as a point of departure.
With extensive performance experience in the fields of contemporary opera and chamber music, Austin Lewellen continually seeks to redraw the boundaries of our artistic practice. His interests lie primarily in the creation of living music, through active collaboration with composers. He is most at home in small ensembles, though his technique has a firm grounding in the orchestral tradition of the Common Practice Era. He take these skills both as a basis of communal understanding and as a point of departure.
In the realm of contemporary opera, Austin took part in the US premiere of Liza Lim's "Tree of Codes" at the Spoleto Festival in 2018, singing the unstaged role of "Mutant Bird" while simultaneously playing the bass. Since, he has workshopped Nicole Lizée's "No One's Safe" at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2019, and was slated to perform in the world premiere of Rhiannon Giddens' and Michael Abels' "Omar" at the Spoleto Festival in 2020, now rescheduled for 2021.
As concerns more traditional performance practice, Austin held a Young Artist Fellowship with Da Camera of Houston, through which he partnered with the Montrose Grace Place to lead workshops for homeless youth. He is a regular substitute with the New World Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Austin holds degrees from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and Oberlin College & Conservatory, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he studies with Rex Surany, principal double bass of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.