Born in Concord, California, Austin Chanu (b. 1993) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where he began studying clarinet at the age of nine. Under the mentorship of SF Saxophonist Mary Fettig, Austin became interested in woodwind performance through jazz, musical theatre, and classical music. Austin has performed at Carnegie Hall, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, the Umbria Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and Montreux Jazz Festival. He has also performed as a pit musician in musicals all over California, some of which include west coast premieres of Aladdin: The Musical (2010) and Parade (2011).
As a music director and composer, Austin has conducted world premieres of over a dozen works ranging from chamber ensembles to orchestras. He has studied with Stephen Hartke, Frank Ticheli, David Amado, Vince Mendoza and is currently studying with Larry Livingston. In May 2015, Austin received the Most Valuable Player Award from the USC Composition department as a conductor and proponent of new music. He recently finished music directing “Shrek: The Musical” at LAMusArt’s summer program, Camp MusArt.
As a composer Austin has received commissions from the Prescott Jazz Festival, Diablo Valley College Night Jazz Band, the USC Concert Jazz Orchestra, and vocalist Frenchie Davis, among others. Austin is a Los Angeles based musician pursuing conducting and composition, while teaching music and performing in musical theatre orchestras. He plans to pursue a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting.