Austin Chanu is a conductor, composer, and woodwind performer originally from the San Francisco Bay area. He is a conducting fellow of The Philadelphia Orchestra for the 2022–23 season, where he will assist Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin as well as other guest conductors, and lead The Philadelphia Orchestra in select concerts.
Mr. Chanu also serves as the assistant conductor of the Eastman Philharmonia and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra as he pursues his DMA in orchestral conducting, studying with Neil Varon. He was the president of Eastman's student-run contemporary ensemble, OSSIA New Music, for the 2021–22 season.
Previously, Mr. Chanu has appeared as a guest conductor and guest assistant with the Omaha Symphony as well as a guest assistant for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also the music director for the Los Angeles Music and Art School. During his tenure at LAMusArt, he conducted the youth orchestra, choirs, and jazz band, while overseeing the development of curriculum and artistic direction of the ensembles. During this time, he also conducted for the LA Chamber Orchestra's New Music Salon, served as a teaching artist and conductor for the LA Philharmonic Association's Associate Composer Program, and was a high-call woodwind performer for musical pit orchestras in the greater Los Angeles area.
Mr. Chanu received a Bachelor of Music in music composition from the USC Thornton School of Music in 2015, graduating magna cum laude. While at USC, he received the Most Valuable Player Award as a conductor and proponent of new music. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 2021 with a master’s degree in orchestral conducting, in the studio of Mr. Varon.
Photo by Cristina Burgos