“..[Katherine Austin] is mercurial, alert and a supreme colourist. I’d put her among the top six pianists in the country and almost unrivalled as a chamber ensemble pianist” Ian Dando”, “Katherine Austin…possesses a musical gift given to few.” The Listener
“Her charismatic temperament, underpinned by technical neatness, gives her that x-factor of a true soloist.” The Christchurch Star
“…Mozart’s concerto K456, with soloist Katherine Austin wrapping up every note with elegant high spirits and positively lighting up the music. Thanks to her natural understanding of Mozart’s light and shade, his sudden turns into unexpected keys, and his unashamedly operatic verve, she ignited the musicians behind her into a crackling performance that ..would have impressed Mozart himself with its gleeful abandon”,”Katherine Austin’s dazzling pianism is a continuous tower of strength.” The NZ Herald
In 1982 Katherine Austin was the winner of the Pianoforte National Young Performer of the Year Award.
Top New Zealand pianist, Katherine Austin, performs regularly around New Zealand as concerto soloist, chamber musician, and solo recitalist. She tours frequently for Chamber Music New Zealand, and is a National Recording Artist, broadcasting regularly for Concert FM. Performances in many of the country’s main festivals include the International Festival of Arts in Wellington, the Nelson International Chamber Music Festival, and the yearly Rotorua Millenium Chamber Music Festival, of which she is a co-founder. Katherine Austin is a founding member of the Tennant-Austin Duo who have performed in Europe and the USA, and the Ogen Trio, with whom she performs standard repertoire and new contemporary works throughout New Zealand.
Katherine holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Auckland University, where her teachers were Janetta McStay and Bryan Sayer. She was winner of the 1982 New Zealand Young Musician of the Year and the NZ National Piano Award in the same year. Seven years of study and performance in London and Europe included a full scholarship at the Royal College of Music London studying with top Russian pianist and teacher Irina Zaritskaya, as well as postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Katherine won Top Duo Prize in the 1987 Stresa International Chamber Music Competition in Italy, performing with cellist Vincenzo Giuliani. She returned to New Zealand in 1991. Katherine Austin tours throughout New Zealand frequently for Chamber Music New Zealand, most recently in 2005 with the Ogen Trio, and in 2003 with duo partner cellist James Tennant in the Tennant-Austin Duo. The Tennant-Austin Duo toured in the UK and USA in 2004, receiving accolades and standing ovations in each centre they performed including London and Michigan, with return invitations which they will take up at the end of 2006. In 2005 the Tennant-Austin Duo performed the entire Sonatas of Beethoven for Cello and Piano in one concert, which extraordinary concert they will tour nationally in 2006 and 2007. In 2004 and 2005, with the Ogen Trio and clarinetist Peter Scholes, Katherine Austin has given a number of performances of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, which has received outstanding reviews for every performance. Critic Ian Dando, interviewed by Concert Fm said of their Christchurch performance “better than any performance I have ever heard, live or recorded”. Katherine Austin also performs regularly as concerto soloist with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and the Opus Chamber, specialising in the concertos of Mozart and Beethoven.