Octavio Más-Arocas is a versatile and dynamic conductor whose achievements demonstrate his talent and musicianship. An award-winner conductor, Mr. Más-Arocas won the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize at the Aspen Music Festival, the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Award, given by Kurt Masur, is the recipient of the Thelma A. Robinson Award from the Conductors Guild, a Prize Winner of the Third European Conductors Competition, and a winner of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain Conductors Competition. In 2012, Mr. Más-Arocas was selected by the League of American Orchestra to conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in a showcase event during the League’s National Conference in Dallas.
Chosen by Kurt Masur, Mr. Más-Arocas was awarded the prestigious Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship. Consequently, he worked as Maestro Masur’s assistant with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Helsinki Radio Orchestra, and made his German conducting debut with the Leipziger Symphonieorchester. The offer came after Mr. Más-Arocas’ New York debut concert sharing the podium with Maestro Masur and the Manhattan School of Music Symphony.
Mr. Más-Arocas served as Principal Conductor of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin, is currently the Director of Orchestral Studies and Associate Professor of Conducting at the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and has held the positions of Director of Orchestral Studies and Opera Conductor at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, Director of Orchestras at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Resident Conductor of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and Assistant conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra. In 2013, simultaneously to his work with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Más-Arocas was the Resident Conductor of the Unicamp Symphony Orchestra in Campinas, Brazil, where he also was a Visiting Professor of conducting at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Mr. Más-Arocas spends part of his summers and winters in the Grand Traverse area, where this year he is guest conducting the Traverse City Orchestra and will continue his association as guest conductor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.
In the last few years Mr. Más-Arocas has conducted orchestra across North and South America and Europe including the Leipziger Symphonieorchester in Germany, the Orquestra Sinfônica da Unicamp in Brazil, the Green Bay, Fort Worth, Spokane, Toledo, Phoenix, Memphis, Kansas City, and San Antonio Symphonies, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Interlochen Philharmonic, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Philharmonic, the Rosario Symphony in Argentina, Kharkov Symphony in Ukraine, the National Youth Orchestras of Portugal and Spain, the Pescara Symphony in Italy, the Amsterdam Brass in the Netherlands, and the Ciudad Alcala de Henares Symphony. In addition, Mr. Más-Arocas has served as assistant conductor at the Madrid Royal Opera House.
His ability to work, inspire, and transform young talents has lead him to be a frequent guest conductor with prominent music education organizations and ensembles. This year, he conducted the North Carolina All-State Honors Orchestra, was in residence with the orchestra at the Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts, conducted the orchestra of the Escola Profissional de Musica de Viana do Castelo in Portugal, lead conducting workshops in Spain, and came back to Interlochen to guest conduct in the summer. Mr. Más-Arocas has lead tours with the National Youth Orchestra “Templarios” of Portugal, the Interlochen Symphony, and served as member of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain conducting staff.
Mr. Más-Arocas was assistant conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra, which he conducted in subscription, family, and pops concerts. As the Resident Conductor at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival he conducted the Festival, Symphony, and Cumberland Orchestras. Other festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the Festival Internacional Carlos Gomes in Campinas, Brazil, the Interlochen Music Festival, and the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music. His performances with the Interlochen Orchestra have been featured on NPA and he has collaborated with such outstanding and diverse musicians as Leonard Slatkin, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, cellist Joshua Roman, Philadelphia Orchestra’s tubist Carol Jantsch, the trio Time for Three, and the Latin band Tiempo Libre.
Mr. Más-Arocas was born in a small town in Spain that is well known for two things: a very rich musical tradition and La Tomatina, a tomato fight that takes place every year at the end of August. He is an alumnus of the prestigious American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, where he studied with David Zinman. His main mentors include Kurt Masur, Harold Farberman, and Emily Freeman Brown. He lives in the Cleveland area with his wife Kiki Kilburn, also a conductor, (his sister and brother-in-law are conductors as well) and his 2 years old daughter Luana (hopefully not a conductor!)