INTERLOCHEN, MICH., Oct. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This fall, Interlochen Arts Academy has welcomed two new faculty members who are joining the institution's efforts to train a new generation of orchestral musicians. Carolyn Watson, of Australia, will lead the Arts Academy Orchestra and Stephanie Arado, previously of the Minnesota Orchestra, will lead the violin studio at the fine arts boarding high school.

"This is an exciting time at Interlochen," said Kedrik Merwin, director of the music program at Interlochen. "After a worldwide search for a new orchestra director, we are thrilled to have found Carolyn, an artist and teacher who brings wonderful experience to her new role and will continue to advance the musical training of our students. Her appointment demonstrates our commitment to bringing in the best artist-educators in the world to work with our students."

Watson comes to Interlochen from Sydney, Australia where she served as conductor-in-residence of the Conservatorium High School. She has held conducting positions with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney. Watson has worked with many of the world's major orchestras, including Hannover State Orchestra, Budapest Operetta Theatre, Berlin Staatsoper and Sydney Symphony. She has served as assistant to Marin Alsop and Sir Charles Mackerras, and won conducting prizes in Berlin, Sydney and Budapest. Watson is the recipient of the 2013 Brian Stacey Award for emerging Australian conductors, and the Sir Charles Mackerras Conducting Prize, awarded by the Australian Music Foundation in London in 2008. As a conducting fellow at Aspen Music School Watson studied with David Zinman. She holds a Ph.D. in conducting from Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney, general and advanced diplomas from the Zoltan Kodaly Pedagogical Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary, and licentiate diplomas in violin performance from Trinity College of Music in London.

"I am confident that Carolyn Watson's experience and musicality in leading the Academy Orchestra will continue to enhance the reputation of the Interlochen Arts Academy orchestra as the finest training ground in the world for young musicians," said Merwin.

Joining Watson on the faculty will be violinist Stephanie Arado, who just completed a long and successful career as assistant concertmaster with the Minnesota Orchestra. "We didn't need to look as far as Australia to find our next violin instructor but I could not imagine a better fit for Interlochen," continued Merwin. "She brings decades of experience in a top American orchestra and also happens to be an Interlochen alumna. Aspiring violinists, string players and musicians around the world will take note of this exciting addition to our faculty."

After leaving Interlochen, she attended The Juilliard School with Dorothy Delay and then studied with renowned violin teachers Almita and Roland Vamos, before returning to Juilliard once again to study with Paul Kantor. Prior to her work in Minnesota, Arado served as Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony under Marin Alsop. She is also an active chamber musician, and co-founder for the Bakken Trio with whom she has performed for twenty-two years. An accomplished teacher, she has taught at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, coached the Minnesota Youth Symphony and taught private lessons throughout her time in Minnesota.

With their arrival at Interlochen, Watson and Arado will join a long tradition of musical and artistic excellence. Since the Arts Academy was established, it has produced 42 Presidential Scholars, a record unmatched by any school in the United States, public or private. Alumni include singer-songwriter Jewel, actress Felicity Huffman and jazz drummer Peter Erskine, among many others. More than ten percent of the nation's orchestral musicians can claim roots at either Interlochen Arts Academy or Camp. Since 1958, more than 100 Grammy Awards have been presented to Interlochen alumni.

Interlochen Arts Academy is part of the nonprofit Interlochen Center for the Arts, recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the only organization in the world that brings together: a 2,500-student summer camp program; a 500-student fine arts boarding high school; opportunities for hundreds of adults to engage in fulfilling artistic and creative programs; two 24-hour listener-supported public radio stations (classical music and news); more than 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists; a global alumni base spanning nearly nine decades. For information, visit Interlochen online at

Chris Hintz 
Interlochen Center for the Arts