Austin Huntington, student of Richard Hirschl, is the recipient of numerous Grand Prize and First Place awards on both the national and international levels. At the age of 10, he made his first solo orchestral debut, and has since performed as the guest soloist with orchestras such as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Laporte Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.
In March 2011, Mr. Huntington was awarded the 2011 Stulberg International Competition Burdick-Thorne Gold Medal, along with the Bach award, which was given to the contestant with the best performance of a Bach solo work. Also in March 2011, Mr. Huntington was named the winner of both the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s and the Northwest Symphony’s concerto competition. As a result, he will perform as soloist with the CYSO in their upcoming Fall 2011 Orchestra Hall concert and with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra as a part of their 2011-2012 season. In Fall 2010, Mr. Huntington was invited to perform in the 2010 Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses, held in Kronberg, Germany. The previous year, he was named the 2009 National First Place Winner of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) competition. Prior to this, he won his state and subsequent five-state regional solo performance competition.
On invitation from the IBLA Foundation of New York, Mr. Huntington travelled to Sicily, Italy to perform a series of concerts for both the public and members of a distinguished International Jury. He was awarded with the highest honor of Most Distinguished Artist. As a result of this award, Mr. Huntington was invited to perform on the two week IBLA Grand Prize Winner’s USA Tour, ending with his New York debut at Carnegie Hall. In Fall 2009, Mr. Huntington was selected as one of six cellists representing the United States invited to compete in the 2009 Rostropovich International Cello Competition, which was held in Paris, France.
In addition to the previously named competitions, Mr. Huntington has also been awarded with the following Young Artist competition Grand Prize and First Place awards: the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, the Forte Wayne Philharmonic (both Junior and Senior divisions), the Society of American Musicians (both 2005 and 2006), the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra. Also, on invitation by the Mishawaka Lions Club, he was invited to perform a sixty-minute recital in their 2007-08 Fine Arts Music series, and was invited back to perform again in recital in Fall 2010. Mr. Huntington has also been invited to be featured on NPR's From the Top radio show this fall.
Mr. Huntington has also performed in Masterclass for distinguished master clinicians such as Gary Hoffman, Steven Doane, Robert Nagy, Lynn Harrell, Joel Krosnick, Ron Leonard, Paul Katz, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Richard Aaron, Anthony Elliot, Collin Carr, Steven Geber, Susan Moses-Bloom, and Carter Enyeart. He has also collaborated with such highly esteemed concert artists as Misha Amory, James Dunham, and Itzhak Perlman. Mr. Huntington is currently the Principal Cellist of the award-winning Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) and Encore, the CYSO’s premiere performing ensemble. In past years, he has served as the Principal Cellist of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra (2004-2006) and the cellist of the SBYSO String Quartet, which was awarded the 2006 Kenneth Geoffroy Memorial Award, awarded to the highest ranked regional ensemble, by the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
During the summer, Mr. Huntington studies at the Perlman Music Program in Shelter Island, New York, and at the Perlman Music Program’s winter residency in Sarasota, Florida. In past summers, he has attended the Aspen Music Festival School in Aspen, Colorado; the Quartet Program in Fredonia, New York; the Academie Internationale de Musique de Montpellier, France; the Meadowmount School of Music, New York; Indiana University String Academy in Bloomington, Indiana; Credo Chamber Music Festival in Oberlin, Ohio; and the U.S. Eastern Music School in Colgate, New York. Mr. Huntington’s previous teachers are Hans Jorgen Jensen and Emilie Grondin.
Mr. Huntington is seventeen years old and a 12th grade High Honors student at Saint Joseph’s High School in South Bend, Indiana. He plays on a cello made by Francesco Ruggieri of Cremona, ca. 1690 and a fine cello bow made by Eugene Sartory, ca. 1930.