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Texas State conductor awarded residency in Dallas Opera program

Carolyn Watson
Carolyn Watson

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
July 5, 2017

Carolyn Watson, director of orchestral studies at Texas State University, has been named a 2017 Hart Conductor for the third annual residency of the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at the Dallas Opera.

Watson is one of six women named Hart Conductors this year. The residency will take place November 5-19 in Dallas. In 2016, Watson was selected as an observer to audit the prestigious program.

The Dallas Opera launched the residential program in 2015—one of only three in the world—designed to provide training and career support for distinctively talented women conductors. Female conductors, as well as accomplished women singers, opera coaches, accompanists and instrumentalists with established careers seeking to develop new skills at the podium, were encouraged to apply.

"The program is indeed groundbreaking–a unique opportunity and one which offers continuing support and mentorship over a number of years," Watson said. "I look forward to not only this year’s institute, but also my ongoing association with the Dallas Opera and the Hart Institute, as well as all the wonderful women colleagues I will be fortunate to work with over the course of my career."

The 2017 Linda and Mitch Hart Institute will consist of hands-on master classes with Marin Alsop (music director, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and the only conductor ever to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship); Nicole Paiement (the Dallas Opera’s Martha R. and Preston A. Peak principal guest conductor); and Carlo Montanaro (a renowned Italian conductor making his official Dallas Opera debut with November performances of La Traviata).

The program may already be having a pronounced positive impact: Just this week, Chicago Opera Theater announced that Hart Institute Fellow Lidiya Yankovskaya (Inaugural Class, 2015) will assume the role of company music director.

Prior to her arrival at Texas State, Watson held the position of conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra from 2013-2015.  A Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, Watson was a major prize winner at the 2012 Emmerich Kálmán International Operetta Conducting Competition in Budapest, Hungary. She has participated in master classes with Peter Eötvös, Yoel Levi and Alex Polishchuk and conducted musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic in Interaktion.  Watson is the recipient of the Brian Stacey Award for Emerging Australian Conductors, the Charles Mackerras Conducting Prize and Opera Foundation Australia’s Bayreuth Opera Award. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance (conducting) from the University of Sydney where her doctoral thesis was Gesture as Communication: The Art of Carlos Kleiber.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,849 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 180,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world.  Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities:  Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.

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