2023 Guest Artists

Kelly Austermann, Clarinet

Kelly Austermann has significant experience as a performing musician and music educator.  She is principal clarinetist of the Gateway Festival Orchestra and the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra.  She has also performed with the Illinois Symphony and Hot Springs Festival Orchestra.  She can be heard in solo clarinet passages on the Grammy-nominated CD, Fireworks! released under the Equilibrium label and on In This Hid Clearing released under the Naxos label.   Kelly was also a featured performer on the nationally televised show, CBS Sunday Morning
Kelly has been on the teaching faculty at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, St. Louis Community College, Jefferson College, and East Central College. She has taught a wide variety of music courses including Applied Clarinet, Applied Saxophone, Music Appreciation, Fundamentals of Music, History of Jazz, and History of Rock and Roll. Kelly has performed and presented research at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest, the American Single Reed Summit Conference, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors National Conference, the Midwest Clarifest Con
Kelly received music degrees from Arizona State University, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and Mizzou. Kelly is a Silverstein Works Pro Artist and Inspiring Educator.
Ms. Austermann will perform Rossini’s Introduction, Theme, and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra with the Gateway Festival Orchestra, 7:30 PM, Sunday July 16, 2023, at the 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Avenue, University City, MO 63130.

Brian Woods, Piano

Celebrated for his stunning musicianship and dazzling stage presence, American pianist Brian Woods has emerged as a rising star of international acclaim. His 2022-2023 Season includes concert tours of the United States, concerto appearances with the Quincy Symphony and Belleville Philharmonic, collaborations with the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, a debut for the prestigious Music Toronto, and a solo appearance in Southern California as Winner of the Beverly Hills National Auditions, a nationwide search for the most talented young artists in the country. Woods currently serves as Music Director for Classical Programming at the World Chess Hall of Fame, one of the premier venues for chamber music in Missouri.

A native of St. Louis, Woods has enjoyed success in numerous distinguished competitions, including the Verona International Piano Competition, The American Prize, and the Artist Presentation Society Auditions. Following his debut concerto performance at age eighteen, he maintains an extensive concerto repertoire, from Liszt and Tchaikovsky’s First Concerti to Beethoven’s Fifth, Brahms’ Second, and Rachmaninoff’s Third. Woods has since performed with such ensembles as the Manassas Symphony Orchestra, the Southeast Missouri Symphony, the University City Symphony Orchestra, and the Southern Illinois Symphony.

Past seasons have included solo recitals in Toronto, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, and Dublin, Ireland. His performances continue to receive high acclaim, with audiences and critics alike praising his playing as “astonishing” (KDHX St. Louis), “inspiring” (Encinitas, CA), and “taking the audience on a journey” (Watertown, NY). As a passionate chamber musician, Woods has collaborated with tenor Vinson Cole and cellist Julian Schwarz, among many other partners in the United States and Canada. His artistic partnership with Canadian violinist Daniel Dastoor as the Dastoor-Woods Duo has led to notable performances in Toronto’s Koerner Hall and the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Woods holds degrees from Vanderbilt University, University of Missouri – Kansas City, and Shenandoah University. Past mentors include Craig Nies, Robert Weirich, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Donna Vince, and Margaret Kitto. In 2021, Woods completed the Artist Diploma Program at The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School, where he studied on full scholarship with legendary Irish pianist and Beethoven interpreter John O’Conor. To learn more, visit brianwoodspianist.com.
Mr. Woods will perform S. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor with the Gateway Festival Orchestra, 7:30 PM, Sunday July 30, 2023, at the 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Avenue, University City, MO 63130.

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