Mark Austin is a conductor of integrity. His sensitive and mature performances of operatic and orchestral repertoire have earned a reputation for their “eloquent intensity” (Guardian). Mark also has a rare ability as a speaker to draw audiences nearer to the music they are about to hear.
Mark was invited to work on the music staff of the inaugural Grange Festival in 2017, and will return in 2018 as an assistant conductor. Recent opera conducting credits include: ‘Hansel and Gretel’ (Mercury Theatre), ‘La traviata', ‘Le comte Ory' (Opera South), ‘Il barbiere di Siviglia’, and ‘Tosca’ (Musique Cordiale International Festival). Mark regularly works as assistant conductor to figures including Vasily Petrenko, Marin Alsop, Steuart Bedford, David Hill and the late Sir Colin Davis, with orchestras including BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC Proms), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Hangzhou Philharmonic, China. He studies with Sian Edwards and Lionel Friend and was awarded an International Opera Awards Bursary in 2017.
Mark recently conducted his own Faust Chamber Orchestra in concerts at Kings Place, LSO St Luke’s, and West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge. The orchestra is recognised for its virtuosic performances and distinctive approach to concert presentation. Recent successes include collaborations with soloists Guy Johnston and Katie Bray, and a concert staging of Bizet’s ‘Don Procopio’ narrated by Dame Penelope Keith. Beside concerts, the orchestra runs a dynamic education programme at a wide range of schools.
As an accomplished pianist, Mark has accompanied singers at venues including Kings Place, Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Leighton House (Dame Felicity Lott), Holywell Music Room, Colston Hall, Champs Hill, Opera Bastille, Paris and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre. He is musical assistant to The Bach Choir.
Born in London, Mark had lessons in violin and piano from an early age. He played in the National Youth Orchestra, and went on to study at Cambridge University, where he obtained a BA in French and German with distinction and an MPhil in European Literature and Culture. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where he received numerous prizes and was appointed a Junior Fellow in 2012.
You can read more about Mark on www.mark-austin.net and communicate with him on twitter @mark_aus_tin