Ara Sarkissian began studying the violin at the age of four and continues to perform and teach both domestically and abroad. As a performer of contemporary music, he has collaborated with such esteemed composers as Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, George Benjamin, and Kaija Saariaho. Special highlights of his career include performing under the direction of Pierre Boulez at the Lucerne Festival held in Switzerland.

Previously, he has performed in ensembles such as the Callithumpian Consort, New England String Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and Guerilla Opera among others.

As an avid music educator, Ara has taught privately for over 15 years and coached numerous young chamber ensembles across the country. He has coached small chamber ensembles for the Pre-College Division at the SUNY Stony Brook University, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. Additionally he coached violin sectionals for the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He also served on the faculty of The Community Music Center of Boston where he was a violin and viola instructor as well as an assistant conductor for their chamber orchestra. 

Ara now teaches violin and conducts the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Ara started teaching at Interlochen during the summer of 2008 and in the summer of 2009, he and his colleagues were featured on NPR's "Performance Today" for their performance of Bohuslav Martinu’s La Revue de Cuisine. He taught previously as a one-year sabbatical replacement at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis. While there, he performed as a member of the Ceruti String Quartet.

Ara received his Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees with Academic Honors from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. His principal teachers were Marylou Speaker Churchill and James Oliver Buswell IV. Other important mentors throughout Ara’s career include Mary LaMonaca, Lynn Chang, Paul Biss, Carol Ou, Paul Katz, and Roger Tapping.

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