Composer and pianist Austin Simonds (b. 1996) has been praised for his use of thought-provoking themes connected to literature, philosophy, the macabre, and the human psyche. Much of his work deals with lyricism, texture manipulation, and often contains a narrative or programmatic element. Award-winning composer Claudia Howard Queen described his work as "passionate, beautiful, and memorable."
He has worked with choreographers, filmmakers, and music theater directors in collaborations and other projects, though most of his efforts focus toward concert music. His work has been performed in the U.S. as well as Hong Kong, and has been performed/read by the University of North Texas Symphony, Roomful of Teeth, ~Nois Saxophone Quartet, as well as Ensemble Dal Niente. More recently, his new work for solo piano, "Aurora Winter" was selected for the Keyboard in the 21st Century International Conference for Composers. In addition, his piece, “Infernus Sequebatur Eum…,” for two sopranos and chamber orchestra, was notably selected as the 1st prizewinner of the Pi Kappa Lambda undergraduate music scholarship competition. Current projects include works for the Mansfield Philharmonic, as well as the Moldova Symphony for 2019/2020 premieres respectively.
As a pianist, Simonds has collaborated with other composers and premiered new work, performed alongside other pianists in Dallas, as well as having hosted several solo recitals. His passion for the piano is evident throughout his compositions.
He is also a founding member, and active board member of the new art collective Eclective, a group of artists dedicated to the curation, promotion, and performance of new art. Through Eclective, Simonds has been active in many projects, some of which include a cross-collaboration art film, theater commission, and a string quartet project.
His composition studies have included lessons under Ermir Bejo, Kirsten Broberg, Andrew May, as well as Sungji Hong. He holds both a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition and Music Theory from the University of North Texas. Simonds currently studies under Augusta Read Thomas at the University of Chicago where he is pursuing an MA.