Sure, you could call O’Connor a fiddle player. Heck, he may even agree with that job description. But when you’ve written for and played with classical orchestras, when you’ve conceived and launched a school featuring teaching methods you pioneered, when you’ve not only played with, but also improvised with some of the most talented musicians in several genres, “fiddle player” hardly cuts it.
The same goes for his touring schedule. While many acts pretty much perform the same show night after night, O’Connor strives for delivering something unique to his audiences each evening. Even his current touring schedule is filled with shows that, depending on who is appearing with him, turn almost every night into a one-of-a-kind performance.
For example, O’Connor’s next date, March 6 at Boston’s Symphony Hall isn’t just O’Connor fiddlin’ up a storm. It’s the premiere of “The Improvised Violin Concerto” that was commissioned by the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras.
Fast forward to March 19 and you’ll find O’Connor performing with the National Honors Orchestra at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. May 21-22 places the artist in San Francisco for the world premiere of his string symphony, “Elevations” and there are several dates for performances by the O’Connor String Quartet featuring Kelly Hall-Tompkins on violin, Gillian Gallagher on viola and Patrice Jackson on cello.
O’Connor also has a holiday album coming out in September that features collaborations with a wide variety of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, James Taylor, Chris Thile, Steve Wariner, Alison Krauss, Sharon Isbin and more as the violin virtuoso adds yet another facet to his increasingly varied career.
Yes, it’s hard to sum up Mark O’Connor’s many talents in a sentence, tweet or sound bite. But seeing him performing live is a good start. That and reading the Q&A he did with Pollstar last spring.
Of course, visiting his website will reveal more about the artist Just click here.