Mark O'Connor
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Mark O'Connor

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The best kept secret in music

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Discography

Mark O'Connor Discography

Double Violin Concerto (2005 OMAC) - NEW

Crossing Bridges (2004 OMAC)
Mark O'Connor Thirty-Year Retrospective (2003 OMAC)
In Full Swing (2003 Sony Odyssey)
The American Seasons (2001 Sony Classical)
Hot Swing! (2001 OMAC)
Appalachian Journey (2000 Sony Classical)
Fanfare for the Volunteer (1999 Sony Classical)
Midnight on the Water (1998 Sony Classical)
Liberty! (1997 Sony Classical)
Appalachia Waltz (1996 Sony Classical)
The Fiddle Concerto (1994 Warner Bros.)
The Night Before Christmas (1993 Rabbit Ears)
Heroes (1993 Warner Bros.)
Johnny Appleseed (1992 Rabbit Ears)
New Nashville Cats (1991 Warner Bros.)
Retrospective (1990 Rounder)
On the Mark (1989 Warner Bros.)
Championship Years (1989 Country Music Foundation Records)
Elysian Forest (1988 Warner Bros.)
Stone From Which the Arch Was Made (1986 Warner Bros.)
Meanings Of (1985 Warner Bros.)
False Dawn (1982 Rounder)
Soppin' the Gravy (1979 Rounder)
On the Rampage (1979 Rounder)
Markology (1978 Rounder)
Pickin' in the Wind (1975 Rounder)
National Junior Fiddling Champion (1974 Rounder )

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Bio

Violinist/composer/fiddler Mark O'Connor is widely recognized as one of the most gifted contemporary composers in America and surely one of the brightest talents of his generation.

The New York Times calls his "one of the most spectacular journeys in recent American music."

The Baltimore Sun and the St. Louis Post Dispatch label him "genius."

The Los Angeles Times describes him as an artist who is "one of the most talented and imaginative...working in music -- any music -- today."

The Seattle Times says of his music: "brilliantly original."

His compositions are "informed and engaging," according to the Washington Post.

An excerpt from a recent feature in the New York Times eloquently describes Mark O'Connor's tradition-filled past, his stellar present and his future full of promise:

"The audience was on its feet. I'm certain that at least some of the concert-goers were moved not merely by Mr. O'Connor's solo, as exciting as it was, but by its having come on the heels of the orchestral piece ("American Seasons"). They were moved by Mr. O'Connor's journey without maps, cheering for the only musician today who can reach so deeply first into the refined, then the vernacular, giving his listeners a complex, sophisticated piece of early-21st-century classical music and then knocking them dead with the brown-dirt whine of a Texas fiddle."

A product of America's rich aural folk tradition, Mr. O'Connor's journey began at the feet of violin masters Texas fiddler Benny Thomasson and French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. Along the way, between these two marvelous musical extremes, Mark O'Connor absorbed knowledge and influence from a multitude of musical styles and genres. Now, at age 41, he has melded and shaped these influences into a new American classical music. The Los Angeles Times warmly noted he has "crossed over so many boundaries, that his style is purely personal."

His first recording for the Sony Classical record label, Appalachia Waltz, was a collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and doublebassist Edgar Meyer. The works Mr. O'Connor composed for the disc, including its title track, gained worldwide recognition for him as a leading proponent of a new American musical idiom. The tremendously successful follow-up release, Appalachian Journey, received a Grammy Award in February 2001.

Viewing Mark O'Connor as a direct cultural descendant of America's 18th century musicians, the producers of the six-part PBS documentary on the American Revolution approached Mark O'Connor to contribute music to their longform work. An album of the music he created, Liberty!, was released on the Sony Classical label in 1997 and features Mr. O'Connor's arrangements of a variety of traditional American music and expansive original orchestral works. Both Yo-Yo Ma and Wynton Marsalis appear as guests on the album.

In 2000, composer John Williams also called on his expertise and knowledge of the period to contribute solo instrumentalist talents to the Oscar-nominated score of "The Patriot." Mr. O'Connor was invited to contribute to the soundtrack of the upcoming Ron Maxwell film, "Gods and Generals," released in 2003.

Midnight on the Water, a live recording of his solo recital, was released in 1998. It was the album long awaited by legions who have followed Mr. O'Connor's 28-year career and is regarded by many as a definitive career work firmly solidified his place as one of America's premier musical artists. The CD includes Mr. O'Connor's "Caprices 1-6," increasingly gaining reputation as classic works of the modern violin repertoire. In its review of the disc, Fanfare The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors praised his ability "to dazzle listeners with things both new and personal," noting that "O'Connor's creative effort... deserves special mention and serious discussion, if not special praise."

With more than 150 performances, his "Fiddle Concerto No. 1" has become the most-performed modern violin concerto.

Fanfare for the Volunteer, recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Steven Mercurio, was released by Sony Classical in October 1999. At its release, Melinda Bargreen, the Seattle Times' respected classical music critic, described the composition as, "O'Connor's strongest work thus far," calling it "distinctively American and decidedly O'Connor..."

In April 2000, Mr. O'Connor premiered "The American Seasons: Seasons of an American Life," at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, N.Y. Commissioned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the hall's concert series, the New York Times praised the work and O'Connor's performance with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, describing it as "wholly listenable, buoyed by its jazzy rhythms and by Mr. O'Connor's unstoppable melodic gift." The American Seasons was recorded with Metamorphosen and released in 2001.

Following the work's release, a 28-city national tour with Metamorphosen earned universally spectacular reviews