The Creative Process: A Discussion with Composer Ricky Ian Gordon, Baritone Justin Austin & Met Opera Pianist Howard Wilkins
Wednesday, February 8 @ 6:30 pm
This event is free and open to the public
Composer Ricky Ian Gordon, baritone Justin Austin and pianist Howard Watkins discuss the creative process and how Ricky’s new work came into being. How do composers and performers collaborate, exchange ideas, inspire each other?
The atmosphere is casual, with a Q and A opportunity for the audience.
Praised in Opera News as “a gentle actor and elegant musician” and The Wall Street Journal for his “mellifluous baritone,” Drama Desk Award-nominated baritone Justin Austin has been performing professionally since age 4. Born in Stuttgart, Germany to professional opera singer parents, Austin began his singing career as a boy soprano performing at venues such as Teatro Real, Bregenzer Festspiele, Lincoln Center, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. While working with directors such as Götz Friedrich and Tazewell Thompson, Austin was able to realize his love for music and performance early on.
For the 2021/22 season Austin made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Marcellus in the company premiere of Hamlet by Brett Dean. Austin also made his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago singing the leading role of Charles Blow in Fire Shut Up In My Bones by Terrance Blanchard. Austin starred as George Armstrong in the return of Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage and Ricky Ian Gordon at Lincoln Center Theater. He made his return to the New York Festival of Song for its debut concert at Little Island in New York City.
As a multifaceted musician, he performs a wide range of repertoire from jazz, R&B and musical theater to opera and oratorio. Justin has collaborated with multiple groups and artists such as Aretha Franklin, the Boys Choir of Harlem, Mary J. Blige, Elton John, Lauryn Hill, The Roots, 30 Seconds to Mars, John Cale, Ricky Ian Gordon, Damien Sneed, Kanye West, and jazz legends Reggie Workman, Hugh Masekela and Wynton Marsalis.
Justin strongly believes in using his artistry to benefit music programs, new music projects and community services around the world. To do so, he works with organizations such as MEND (Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity), QSAC (Quality Services for the Autism Community), Holt International, and St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital to design and perform benefit concerts. Inspired by the importance of new music and collaboration, he has performed and recorded operatic, song, and oratorio world premieres by Wynton Marsalis, Avner Finberg, M. Roger Holland, Jack Perla, Peter Andreacchi, Damien Sneed, Odeline de la Martinez and Ricky Ian Gordon.