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, PhD, 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.

Austin received his PhD in historical musicology from the University of Michigan. His research interests include opera and civic identity, the American West, artistic citizenship, and nineteenth-century opera. His dissertation committee was chaired by Mark Clague. Through the UM EXCEL Program, Austin also studied arts leadership with Ken Fischer, President Emeritus 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.