Bringing meaning to musical works for all audiences.

Make the past present. Make the present matter.



Whether in person or virtually, Austin is a regular pre-performance speaker at Michigan Opera Theatre and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and is always looking to engage new audiences. He's also a qualified lecturer at the university level. 


Austin's program notes have been published by the Aspen Music Festival, the Detroit Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre, ensemble viii, New York Polyphony, the Ann Arbor Symphony, and more. Sample work is Here!


Austin has produced weekly outreach programs for Michigan Opera Theatre, programmed concerts for Chamber Music at the Scarab Club and the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and in June 2016, he produced the Requiem for Orlando.


About Austin

Austin Stewart was appointed Artistic Director of Arbor Opera Theater in June 2018. His work with AOT is focused on creating uncommon encounters between audiences and lyric theater. From 2015-2017, he served as Audience Engagement Coordinator at Michigan Opera Theatre where he oversees community engagement programs for adult and college-aged audiences, Opera Clubs, the volunteer Ambassadors program, and consults on content and messaging to partner organizations throughout Metro Detroit.

A PhD candidate in Historical Musicology at the University of Michigan, Austin was the inaugural recipient of the Hans T. David Award, as well as recipient of awards for excellence in undergraduate instruction. He researches opera and civic identity in the American West during the nineteenth century, with an emphasis on the theatres, performances, and artists encountered by the citizens of Denver. His dissertation committee is chaired by Prof. Mark Clague. Through the UM EXCEL Program, Austin is also studying arts leadership with Ken Fischer, past president of the University Musical Society.

Austin received his Master of Music degree in opera conducting from the University of Texas at Austin and his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan where he was a student of George Shirley. Still active as a performer, Austin has focused his efforts on church and choral music, with an emphasis on Renaissance repertoire and the music of J.S. Bach. He performs regularly with the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and soundinglight.