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Ara Sarkissian began studying violin at the age of four and continues to teach and perform domestically and abroad.

Ara has distinguished himself as an experienced teacher and mentor for aspiring young artists who seek acceptance to competitive conservatories and universities. His students have garnered acceptances into top conservatories and universities such as New England Conservatory, Juilliard, Eastman, Manhattan School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and numerous others. Ara continues to enjoy guiding future artists at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

As a performer and advocate of contemporary music, he has collaborated with esteemed composers including Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, and George Benjamin. Among the many highlights of his career to date was performing under the direction of Pierre Boulez at the Lucerne Festival held in Switzerland.

Ara received his Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees in Violin Performance with academic honors from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. While there, his principal teachers were Marylou Speaker Churchill and James Oliver Buswell IV. Other important mentors throughout Ara’s career include Mary LaMonaca, Paul Biss, Carol Ou, Phil Setzer, and Soovin Kim.




Having started teaching at an early age, Ara has nearly 20 years of private lesson teaching experience. He currently teaches violin, chamber music, and has previously conducted the Interlochen Arts Academy (IAA) Orchestra at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Ara began teaching violin at Interlochen during the 2008 summer camp and has been teaching year-round at the Academy since 2014. As a conductor, he prepared the IAA Orchestra for the internationally recognized 2016 NYPHIL BIENNIAL- a festival for modern music hosted by the New York Philharmonic. His work with the students received critical acclaim from Alex Ross of The New Yorker who wrote, “I would happily have stayed in the world of this music for twice as long, not least because of the avid commitment of the Interlochen students.”  

Prior to teaching full time at Interlochen, Ara taught violin and chamber music during 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. 

He has also previously served in a teaching capacity at the Pre-College Division at Stony Brook University, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, the Community Music Center of Boston, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra at Harvard University. 


Ara enjoys working as a freelance musician no matter if it's playing violin, viola, or conducting. Notably, he has performed in ensembles including the Callithumpian Consort, New England String Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), Guerrilla Opera, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and Iris Orchestra.

He has recorded for video game and film soundtracks, and he has also served as a session musician for recording artists and ensembles. 

Ara also welcomes opportunities to perform as a guest clinician and conductor.


Ara offers a wide range of services that includes more than just private lessons. He is available for master classes, presentations, and consultations. He is also available for freelance bookings, professional recording sessions, conducting engagements and more.

Beethoven Op. 12

Beethoven Op. 12

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