Austin was born Dorothea Blaukopf into a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria. As a child, she was a concert pianist. She fled to England during World War II and immigrated to the United States in 1949.
Austin was a professor at Queensborough Community College for nearly forty years. She was a member of the New York Women Composers Association. An example of her composition is Transformation for viola, piano and tape (1973).
- Transformation for viola, piano and tape (1973)
- Fantasia for piano and orchestra (1984)
- Syndetos for piano (1984)
- Analogy for viola, cello and piano (1985)
- Metamorphosis for cello and piano (1986)
- Reflections I
- Reflections II for high voice, flute (piccolo), oboe (English horn), clarinet, horn and bassoon; words by Stephen Crane
- Several sources including VIAF and WorldCat cite 1922 as Austin's date of birth.
- Dorothea Austin Banner obituary Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Composers biography:Ap-Az". Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- Cohen, Aaron I. (1987). International encyclopedia of women composers, Volume 2. Books & Music USA. Retrieved 11 November 2010.