Katherine Austin

Leading New Zealand concert pianist, Katherine Austin, is head of piano studies and coordinator of performance studies at the University of Waikato, department of music.  She performs regularly around New Zealand as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, and solo recitalist. She tours frequently for Chamber Music New Zealand, and is a national recording artist, broadcasting regularly for Radio New Zealand Concert. Performances in many of the country's main festivals include the International Festival of Arts in Wellington, the Nelson International Chamber Music Festival, and the yearly Rotorua Millennium Chamber Music Festival, of which she was a co-founder. Austin is a founding member of the Ogen Trio and the Tennant-Austin Duo who perform regularly throughout New Zealand as well as appearing in Europe and the USA. Her work as the pianist of the New Zealand Chamber Soloists (NZCS) now occupies a large portion of her performing and concert life.

Katherine graduated First Class Honours in Piano Performance from Auckland University, where her teachers were Janetta McStay and Bryan Sayer. She was winner of the 1982 New Zealand Young Musician of the Year and the NZ National Piano Award in the same year. Seven years of study and performance in London and Europe included a full scholarship at the Royal College of Music London studying with top Russian pianist and teacher Irina Zaritskaya, as well as postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Katherine won Top Duo Prize in the 1987 Stresa International Chamber Music Competition in Italy, performing with cellist Vincenzo Giuliani. She returned to New Zealand in 1991.

Katherine Austin continues to tour.  She tours frequently throughout New Zealand for Chamber Music New Zealand and in 2004 with the Tennant-Austin Duo to the UK and USA, receiving accolades and standing ovations in every centre in which they performed, including in London and Michigan. This response was repeated in the NZCS Trio tour of 2009 to the USA, UK, Europe and South America.

Austin has performed the romantic piano concerto repertoire with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra, and performs regularly as concerto soloist with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and the Opus Chamber Orchestra, specialising in the concertos of Mozart and Beethoven.  She is also the coordinator behind the WEL Academy of Arts successful ongoing concert series and is the producer for the department of music concerts in Central North Island, New Zealand.