Groupmuse Concert Review

Tye Austin’s Spanish Serenades by Stephanie Susberich, NYC music blogger

Tye Austin is a young, award-winning classical guitarist and composer. He just obtained his master’s from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Eliot Fisk (who was Andres Segovia’s last student). On January 28th, I attended a night of Spanish serenades on guitar, in which Tye performed a program replete with moody, audience-embracing pieces, made all the more clandestine by the performer’s mysterious bearing.

The program began with an anonymous, 19th century Spanish Romance, followed by Fernando Sor’s Etude No. 5 in B minor, which put a quiet spell over the packed room. Many in the diverse crowd seemed to be fairly new to classical music, yet they raptly listened as the artist played on, artfully sweeping fingers and nails over the guitar strings.

Francisco Tarrega’s Lagrima came next, followed by Tye’s own arrangement of Luiz Bonfá’s Manha de Carnaval. The performance was interspersed with Tye’s brief introductions of pieces, which helped create a context for the compositions.

Francisco Tarrega’s Capricho Arabe, with its Arabic, Jewish, and Spanish influences, was followed by Tye’s arrangement of Consuelo Velazquez’ Besame Mucho (Kiss Me A Lot). It is one of the world’s most famous boleros, recognized as the most frequently sung and recorded Mexican song in the world. Written in 1940, the composer is reputed to have said that she wrote the piece at a time in her life when she had never even been kissed. All she knew about kissing at that time was that people referred to it as a sin. Isn’t subversive art wonderful?

Tye also played Sons De Carrlihoes by João Pernambuco, who was an illiterate but outstanding Brazilian musician of the early 20th century. His music was being stolen and sold off during his lifetime by other, literate musicians. Tye explained that this tragic reality prompted Villa-Lobos to publish Pernambuco’s music, which helped give the artist credit and some money for his work.

Tye then performed Villa-Lobos’ Prelude and Choro No. 1. The performer explained that when Villa-Lobos—who unlike Pernambuco, came from an affluent background—travelled to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, the great composition teacher urged the young composer to look to his Brazilian roots for influence. This mentorship helped Villa-Lobos create his unique, Brazilian-infused classical style.

The last piece of the night was Tye’s own arrangement of Enrique Granados’ Spanish Dance No. 5. With its many slides, grace notes, and rhythmic strumming, it left the evening on a lighter note—just in time for hostess Marianne Morrone’s delicious chocolate vegan berry pie!

Click here for the original article.

Tye Austin in Psychology Today

Finding Serenity on a Musical Afternoon

by Rita Watson

Psychology Today

December 13, 2016

Music brings us to a reflective and peaceful dimension. During these turbulent times of concerns about climate change and election hacking, we need moments of serenity. In a concert with classical guitarist and composer Tye Austin and the Back Bay String Quartet, which he founded, we drifted into reverie. The sounds of classical guitar floated in harmony with the strings.

We seldom hear the classical guitar in concert with string quartets, chamber groups, or symphonic orchestras because of the lack of repetoire. As such, the afternoon event at the Boston Athenaeum, “The Bridge Between the Strings,” was distinctive.

Performing solo and with the string quartet, Tye Austin led us into a musical embrace. One could almost see the notes drifting through the Athenaeum, over the ivy boughs laced with white lights and onto the gallery of books and paintings.

The program itself did not require Christmas carols to set the tone for this season of gratitude and merrymaking. Music selections ranged from Francisco Tarrega (1852 -1909) to Luis Bonfa (1922 -2001) and Tye Austin’s “Suite of Meditations.”

When we make the time to absorb music we are giving ourselves a gift. As Kristin Neff, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, tells us, “More so than self-esteem, the nurturing quality of self-compassion allows us to flourish, to appreciate the beauty and richness of life, even in hard times. When we soothe our agitated minds with self-compassion, we’re better able to notice what’s right as well as what’s wrong, so that we can orient ourselves toward that which gives us joy.” /Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem

The Back Bay String Quartet

Tye Austin was the first place winner in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition and was invited to makes his solo-debut at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England on December 14, 2016.  He graduated from the New England Conservatory with his Master of Music degree under the tutelage of legendary maestro Eliot Fisk (the last student of Andres Segovia). He plays a customized 2015 Steve Connor Guitar from Cape Cod, MA.

Members of the string quartet include:  Boston-based violinist Daniel Cho is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Joanna Kurkowicz, concertmaster of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Violist Leonid Plashinov-Johnson has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral member in over fifteen countries and in venues. Cellist Peiyao Guo was a recipient of the award given by Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Foundation during his studies in London. The work of the Boston String Quarted and Tye Austin is on YouTube.

Musical Afternoons and Exhibits

Concerts such as this one at the Athenaeum are open and welcoming to the public ( are a small number of privately funded libraries in the United States. However, today there are many lectures, exhibits, and musical events that non-members can enjoy. /Music and the Boston Athenaeum.

The current exhibit “Daniel Chester French: The Female Form Revealed” will be on display through February 19, 2017. It is co-curated by Dr. David B. Dearinger, Director of Exhibitions & Susan Morse Hilles Senior Curator of Paintings & Sculpture at the Boston Athenæum, and Donna Hassler, Director of Chesterwood and Administrator, Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Dr. Dearinger and a checklist of the exhibition’s contents, as well as an on-line version of the installation.

Copyright 2016 Rita Watson  (An academic member through Suffolk University, Department of English)

Click the link  below to read the original article.

Tye Austin on BNN Television News!

Local Musician Bound for London Debut

by Chris Lovett

Boston Neighborhood News

December 6, 2016

Check out Tye’s latest interview with Boston Neighborhood Network News to promote his upcoming concerts on December 9 at 8pm ($30/public) at the Guild of Boston Artists and on December 11 at 1pm ($35/public) at the Boston Athenaeum. Hope to see you there!

Tye Austin in The Boston Guardian

Local Guitarist Prepares for International Debut

by Tanner Stening

The Boston Guardian

December 2, 2016

En route to his international debut at London’s Royal Albert Hall, New England Conservatory graduate (NEC) Tye Austin will showcase his classical guitar talent on Friday, December 9 at The Guild of Boston Artists on Newbury Street.

Austin, 27, began his musical career at age 17, which for many classical musicians, he said, is unusually late in life. It was while watching a guitar performance at a music festival in his home town of Ashland, Oregon that he had what he described as an epiphany.

“It was a ringing conviction,” said Austin, who lives near Symphony Hall in the Fenway. “I instantaneously knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

Having no background in music, and little support from his family, Austin embarked on his musical career before he even knew how to hold his instrument. Between working at a hostel and as a stagehand at the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in his hometown, he paid his way to Southern Oregon University, where he was already auditing classes to learn guitar fundamentals.

“I knew I wanted to do something more creative,” Austin said. “Something that would give me the liberty to make my own schedule.”

Austin said he was drawn to the guitar because it is “one of the only instruments that you hold right against your heart.”

“You can feel it resonate with your own body,” he said. “I think that’s really special.”

Within three years of beginning college, Austin composed his first symphony and arranged a 50-student orchestra. Two years later, he won first prize in the American Protege International Strings competition, earning him a debut performance at Carnegie Hall.

Under the tutelage of virtuoso Eliot Fisk, and with funding from two private philanthropists, Austin graduated from NEC this past May with a master’s degree in music. His most recent first place finish in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music competition has propelled him further onto the worldwide stage with a solo performance at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall slated for Wednesday, December 14.

“His story is fascinating,” said Bill Everett, gallery director at The Guild of Boston Artists. “To have come this far in a fairly short time, it’s really quite remarkable. He has quite an innate ability.”

While a career as a classical guitarist has granted Austin the freedom he desires, it has not come without difficulties.

“Guitarists are forced to be entrepreneurs,” he said. “We don’t really have a steady income, and we don’t have a lot of salary opportunities.”

The guitar, he said, has traditionally had “no part in orchestral music.” Part of his mission is to integrate the classical guitar into more modern venues — jazz clubs, cocktail lounges and fashion shows — in order to “reach a wider demographic than the one attending classical music concerts in formal concert halls.”

With this in mind, he created the Back Bay String Quartet, which will debut at the Boston Athenaeum next weekend. The work of arranging group performances, composing music and conducting, which he does alongside teaching, keeps him very busy, and has helped him acquire a business competency that he believes made everything possible.

Tomorrow Austin will be in New York City competing in the Forte International Music competition. He is also working on a solo album titled The Art of Guitar that he plans to release in the spring.

Visit for more information and concert bookings.

View the original article: the-boston-guardian-story

Press Release: First Prize & Solo Debut: Royal Albert Hall

Tye Austin Wins International Music Competition and Royal Albert Hall Debut!

Tye Austin will also perform a Pre-Royal Albert Hall concert at the Guild of Boston Artists.

BOSTON­ – Local classical guitarist and New England Conservatory of Music alumnus Tye Austin has recently won first place in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition and has been invited to make his solo-debut at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England on December 14, 2016.

About Tye Austin: 

Hailed by NBC-5 as a guitarist who “…can make the guitar sing like it was invented to be in his hands,” native Oregonian Tye Austin made his Carnegie Hall debut after winning first prize in the American Protege International Strings Competition in 2013 merely five years after beginning his formal music studies at Southern Oregon University. Since then he has performed with Grammy-winning musicians such as Sharon Isbin, Eliot Fisk, and Bela Fleck, and he’s been interviewed on National Public Radio. Tye is also an accomplished composer/arranger dedicated to expanding the guitar solo and chamber repertoire. He’ll be conducting the premiere of four new orchestral works he composed for the Boston Guitar Orchestra at Boston Classical Guitar Society’s November concert with the Beijing Guitar Duo. Thanks to a generous patronage and private scholarship, Tye graduated from the New England Conservatory with his Master of Music degree under the tutelage of legendary maestro Eliot Fisk (the last student of Andres Segovia). Tye plays a customized 2015 Steve Connor Guitar from Cape Cod, MA.

“Tye Austin is an excellent musician and performer who is passionate about the relevance of classical guitar in the 21st century. His sheer dedication to the instrument can be witnessed in his playing,” says Andrew Mantel, President of the NEC Alumni Association.

Tye will be performing a Pre-Royal Albert Hall concert at the Guild of Boston Artists (162 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116) on December 9, 2016 at 8PM. The concert program will feature music from J.S. Bach, Francisco Tarrega, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and many others. Tickets will be sold at the door, online at, or by phone at (617) 536-7660 and cost $30/public, $25/students, $20/members. All proceeds go to support Tye’s music career.

Please contact Tye directly to book concerts or schedule interviews. For more information visit and follow him on social media @tyeaustinguitar


Download the Press Release below:


VIP Performance at Boston Fashion Week, 2016!

fashion-weekI’m very excited to announce I’ll be performing in Boston Fashion Week on Sep. 29, 2016 at 7:30pm for Boston En Vogue’s “Classical Luxury” Fashion Show. During the VIP hour at 8:15pm, I’ll be performing music from Johann Sebastian Bach to compliment the 17th century fashion theme, while wearing the latest men’s suit designed by Conrad LaMour. The show is located at 15 Newbury Street in an old gothic cathedral (across from Giorgio Armani). This a tremendous honor for the guitar and me considering I’ll be able to share the beauty of this wonderful instrument with the mainstream public and high fashion crowd. If the conservatory taught me anything, it’s to play for people, not musicians. I’m interested in sharing classical guitar music with people who may be unfamiliar with it’s charm. It’s my personal mission to make the classical guitar as popular and mainstream as rock guitar. I’m certain this performance will help my mission! I hope to see you there if you’re in Boston!