Austin Chanu is a conductor, composer, and woodwind performer originally from the San Francisco Bay area. He was a conducting fellow of The Philadelphia Orchestra for the 2022–23 season and in June 2023 was named assistant conductor, a position he will continue through the 2023–24 season. His duties include assisting Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin as well as other guest conductors and leading The Philadelphia Orchestra in select concerts. Mr. Chanu is the recipient of a 2023 Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation US. He made his Philadelphia Orchestra subscription debut in April 2023 conducting Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
Previously, Mr. Chanu has appeared as a guest conductor and guest assistant with the Omaha Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony 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 Neil Varon.
Photo by Cristina Burgos