Caroline Coade

Artist Picture

Caroline Coade


Henry and Patricia Nickol Chair

DSO member since 1996

Caroline Coade is a violist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and served as the Acting Assistant Principal Viola for the 2013–2016 seasons. Prior to her appointment in 1996 with the DSO, Coade performed regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and held positions with Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra (Philadelphia) and the opera companies of Philadelphia and Santa Fe.

Equally at home teaching as she is on the concert stage, Coade is a passionate educator who was named Assistant Professor of Viola at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (SMTD) in 2016. Her students have won top prizes in many competitions including third prize in the 2019 Sphinx Competition, semi-finalist in the 2019 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, first prize of the Society of Musical Arts 2019 Young Artist Competition, and finalist of the 2018 Anton Rubinstein International Viola Competition. Previously, she was a Lecturer in Viola at the SMTD since 2005 and was Adjunct Professor of Viola at Wayne State University from 1998–2015.

As a judge, Coade was one of nine international adjudicators for the Primrose International Viola Competition final rounds. In 2018, she was one of five judges for the prescreen round of the Primrose Competition. Continuing her advocacy for the arts and education, Coade spends her summers as artist faculty as summer music festivals. She has served on the faculty of the Center Stage Strings/MPulse Institute at the University of Michigan for summers 2016–2019 and has been on the faculty of the Hilton Head Chamber Music Institute in South Carolina since the summer of 2018. In the summer of 2019, Coade joined the faculty of Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in VT. Previous artist faculty roles include the Chautauqua Institution Music Festival in New York (2012–2015), the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine (2012–2015), and at the National Music Festival in Chestertown, Maryland (2011–2013).

Coade has given masterclasses at the Colburn Conservatory (CA), the Oberlin Conservatory (OH), Boston University (MA), Longy School of Music (MA), Baylor University (TX), and Michigan State University. Her students have won coveted spots in renowned music schools including The Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, Rice University, Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory, Boston University, Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Michigan, New England Conservatory, and Yale University.

In 2016, Coade was named the Artistic Director for WRCJ 90.9FM’s Classical Brunch Chamber Music Series at the Community House in Birmingham, Michigan. In this role, Coade curates the programs, does radio voiceover work to advertise the series, and performs. As a chamber musician, Coade regularly plays with her colleagues at the Detroit Symphony and the University of Michigan, and with her colleagues at summer music festivals. Coade has performed at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival (MI), the Laurel Festival of the Arts (PA), and the Marlboro Music Festival (VT). As violist with the Woodland Trio (flute, viola, harp), she concertized around the US, Canada, and at the Printemps Musicale des Alizes of Morocco.

A San Diego, California native, Coade began taking Suzuki violin lessons at age six and switched to the viola at age 14. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy (MI) and went on to receive a Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory, an Artist Diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, and a Master of Music from The Juilliard School. Her principal teachers include Karen Tuttle, Joyce Robbins, Jeffrey Irvine, David Takeno, David Holland, and Eugene Becker.

Coade plays on a Domenico Busan viola c. 1750 on generous loan from The Mandell Collection of Southern California.