Title/Position: Artist-in-Residence, Frost School of MusicProfile:
Mark O’Connor (violin, composer) is artist-in-residence at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. A product of America’s rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, his creative journey pays tribute to two musical giants: American fiddler, Benny Thomasson and French jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. O’Connor’s first recording ‘Appalachia Waltz’ (Sony Classical), was with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer and gained him worldwide recognition as a leading proponent of a new American musical idiom. The tremendously successful follow-up, ‘Appalachian Journey’, received a Grammy Award in February 2001. With more than 200 performances, his first full length orchestral score “Fiddle Concerto” has become the most-performed modern violin concerto composed in the last 40 years. O’Connor’s 2nd concerto “Fanfare for the Volunteer” was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and he has since premiered two more violin concerti. In 2001, O’Connor released “Hot Swing!” and the Chicago Tribune called it “one of the finest discs of his career and one of the greatest jazz violin albums ever.” His “Americana Symphony: Variations on Appalachia Waltz” was recorded by Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony. The Associated Press reviewed it as “a monumental work…inevitably will be compared to Copland.” He has composed chamber music and string quartets, and his most recent recording, ‘Jam Session’ (OMAC), combines bluegrass and gypsy jazz. O’Connor’s “Strings and Threads Suite” for violin and guitar, won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Performance. Mark O’Connor is the founder and president of the Mark O’Connor String Camp, and the author of the Mark O’Connor Violin Method.