Dr. Octavio Mas-Arocas

Conductor, Interlochen Philharmonic, Interlochen Arts Camp

Director of Orchestras, Lawrence Conservatory of Music, Lawrence University

D.M.A., Orchestra Conducting, Bowling Green State University; M.F.A., Orchestra Conducting, Bard College; Diploma, Orchestra Conducting, Accademia Musicale Pescarese, Pescara, Italy; M.M., Trumpet, Conservatorio Superior de Musica, Valencia, Spain

Spanish-born Octavio Más-Arocas is a versatile and dynamic conductor whose achievements demonstrate his talent and musicianship.

Chosen by Kurt Masur, last November Mr. Más-Arocas was awarded the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship. Consequently, next September he will travel to Leipzig and work as Maestro Masur’s assistant. The offer came after Mr. Más-Arocas New York debut concert sharing the podium with Maestro Masur and the Manhattan School of Music Symphony.   

An alumnus of the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, Mr. Más-Arocas was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize in 2008 by David Zinman. He is also the recipient of the 2007 Thelma A. Robinson Award from the Conductors Guild, a Prize Winner of the 2005 Third European Conductors Competition, and a winner of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain Conductors Competition.

In the last few years Mr. Más-Arocas has conducted orchestras across North and South America and Europe including the Spokane, Toledo, Phoenix, Memphis, Kansas City, and San Antonio symphonies, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rosario Symphony Orchestra in Argentina, Kharkov Symphony in Ukraine, the National Youth Orchestras of Spain and Portugal, the Pescara Symphony in Italy, the Amsterdam Brass in Netherlands, the Sinfonica de Madrid Orchestra, and the Ciudad Alcala de Henares Symphony.  

Last summer Mr. Más-Arocas conducted the National Repertory Orchestra in several performances, and served as the assistant conductor to Music Director Carl Topilow and cover conductor for guest conductors including Leonard Slatkin. Other festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, and the Interlochen Arts Festival. Last summer he also guest conducted at the Interlochen Summer Arts Festival to which he will return again this summer to conduct both the World Youth Symphony Orchestra with the trio Time for Three, and the Interlochen Philharmonic.

Fropm 2008-2012, Mr. Más-Arocas served as Music Director and Conductor of the renowned Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. His performances were featured on National Public Radio and streamed online. Mr. Más-Arocas and the IAA Orchestra collaborated with such outstanding and diverse musicians as conductor Leonard Slatkin, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, cellist Joshua Roman, Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal tubist Carol Jantsch, and the Latin band Tiempo Libre, among others.

Mr. Más-Arocas served as assistant conductor at the Madrid Royal Opera House and conducted fully staged opera productions with the Bowling Green State University Opera. He leaded two national tours with the National Youth Orchestra “Templarios” of Portugal, served as member of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain conducting staff, and as assistant conductor of the Bowling Green Philharmonia and was a regular guest conductor of the BG New Music Ensemble.

For two years, he studied conducting with David Zinman at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and has worked with such leading conductors and teachers as Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Christoph Eschenbach, James Conlon, James Depreist, Jesús Lopez-Cobos, Gustav Meier, and Larry Rachleff. Mr. Más-Arocas holds degrees from Bard College in New York where he studied with Harold Farberman, the Accademia Musicale Pescarese in Italy with Gilberto Serembe, and has pursued doctoral studies at Bowling Green State University with Emily Freeman Brown.

An enthusiastic advocate of new music and composer as well, Mr. Más-Arocas has commissioned and premiered numerous works and was the recipient of the Bowling Green Composition Prize in 2007. He has work with such composers as Steven Stucky, Jennifer Higdon, Joan Tower, Samuel Adler, Chen Yi, Michael Daugherty, and John Harbison among others.