Hailed by NBC News for making “…the guitar sing like it was invented only to be in his hands,” native Oregonian Tye Austin is an internationally acclaimed classical guitarist and composer based in New York City. He has debuted solo at Carnegie Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall, the Boston State House, and he’s been featured in Psychology Today, The Boston Guardian, and live on National Public Radio. He won first prize in the 2016 Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition, the 2013 American Protege International Music Competition, and the 2012 Oregon Friends of Music Regional Competition. The 2017-18 concert season will see him perform at the United Nations, the French Embassy in NYC, and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
Tye plays a wide range of musical genres from classical to jazz and contemporary pop, influenced by artists such as Andres Segovia, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and The Beatles. He gained profound insight while studying flamenco and Spanish classical guitar music with David Martinez and Adrian Ruis in Granada and Villa-Real, Spain, where Tye visited the historical monuments and childhood homes of his favorite Spanish composers. He learned Francisco Tarrega’s Recuerdos de la Alhambra while overlooking the Alhambra Palace from his private terrace during the warm summer nights in Andalucia.
“I was mesmerized the first time I heard classical guitar; the polyphony of Asturias and the tremolo of Recuerdos de la Alhambra sounded like sorcery to my ears. I was hooked the moment I embraced the guitar and felt it’s body resonate against my heart,” Tye explains. “The guitar has given my life a profound sense of purpose, direction, and companionship. We’re like best friends.”
As a prodigious composer/arranger with over fifty original works and several commissions to his name, Tye is dedicated to expanding the classical guitar repertoire. In addition to his solo guitar music, he has composed and premiered many chamber works including his first symphony (guitar parts), three guitar concertinos, three chorales with guitar accompaniment, and other chamber works for guitar duo and string quartet.
His fundamental music studies began at Southern Oregon University in 2008, and he received his Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in 2016, where he studied with legendary maestro Eliot Fisk (the last student of Andres Segovia). Tye has also performed in masterclasses with Grammy-winners Sharon Isbin (Juilliard Guitar Chair), Jason Vieaux (Curtis Institute Guitar Chair), and William Kannengiser (USC Guitar Chair).
Tye is currently recording his debut album “The Art of Guitar,” which is scheduled to be released this Fall, 2017. He plays a customized 2015 Steve Connor Guitar from Cape Cod, MA. In his spare time, he enjoys meditating, reading in solitude, and riding his bike through Central Park.