Friday, January 17, 2020 from 4:30–7 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2020 from 10 AM–12 PM
Superstar violinist Mark O’Connor and his accomplished wife, violinist Maggie O’Connor, will begin an Artist Residency at Omaha Conservatory of Music in January 2020. This marks the first time the O’Connors have led trainings in the region. The O’Connor Artist Residency includes teacher training, student workshops and a delightful evening concert featuring Mark, Maggie and Conservatory students – you won’t want to miss it!
Teacher trainings will cover Mark’s first two books, an incredible and unprecedented opportunity for local music teachers to add the methods of the "New American School of String Playing" to their pedagogical training. These trainings, open to all area teachers, take place over the long MLK weekend to accommodate instructors who might need to travel to attend. Limited spots available, so act fast to secure your spot!
The O’Connors will also lead a student workshop for Conservatory students. Students can workshop with Mark and Maggie on songs chosen from a curated list at the beginning of the academic year and will have the chance to perform with the O’Connors on stage.
A Three-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Grand Master Fiddler Champion, Mark has composed music for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and Yo-Yo Ma. He plays a variety of genres, including bluegrass, jazz, country and classical.
Mark is the founder of the O’Connor Method, a 10-book series designed to guide students gradually through the development of pedagogical and musical techniques necessary to become a proficient, well-rounded musician through a carefully planned succession of pieces. Mark is currently an artist-in-residence with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, touring nationally with the Mark O’Connor Band.
Mark resides in North Carolina with his wife, bandmate and duo partner Maggie.
Mark O'Connor began his creative journey at the feet of American fiddling legend Benny Thomasson, and the iconic French jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. Now, at age 55, he has melded these influences into a new American classical music, and is perpetuating his vision of an American School of String Playing. Mr. O’Connor has won three Grammys, seven CMA awards as well as several national fiddle, guitar and mandolin champion titles. His distinguished career includes representing the United States Information Agency in cultural diplomacy to six continents and performing in front of several U.S. presidents including being invited to the White House by President Ronald Reagan to perform as a teen. After recording a series of albums for Rounder and Warner Bros including his multiple Grammy-winning New Nashville Cats, his recordings for Sony Classical with Yo-Yo Ma, Appalachia Waltz and Appalachian Journey sold a million CDs and gained O'Connor worldwide recognition as a leading proponent of a new American musical idiom.
Mr. O’Connor’s Fiddle Concerto released on Warner Bros. has become the most-performed violin concerto composed in the last 50 years. On his own OMAC Records label, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra recorded his sweeping Americana Symphony while his groundbreaking 9th concerto, The Improvised Violin Concerto was recorded in Boston Symphony Hall. His new touring group, the Mark O’Connor Band consisting of family members (wife, son and daughter-in-law) debuted at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s bluegrass album chart and their first album Coming Home won a Grammy in 2017. Mr. O’Connor is set to release his 47th feature album on June 7th, 2017, an exciting new CD, Mark O’Connor Band Live! Mr. O’Connor has authored a series of educational books called the O’Connor Method and is now the fastest growing violin method in the country and tens of thousands can credit the O’Connor books for learning how to play stringed instruments. The O’Connor Method features American music styles, creativity, cultural diversity and western classical technical training. Mr. O’Connor currently is artist-in-residence with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, touring nationally with the Mark O’Connor Band and resides in North Carolina with his wife, fellow bandmate and duo partner Maggie O’Connor. For more information, please see www.markoconnor.com, www.oconnormethod.com, and www.markoconnorband.com.
Violinist and American fiddler Maggie O'Connor performs a variety of musical styles throughout the U.S. and beyond, most recently as a member of the Grammy Award winning Mark O'Connor Band. Frequently performing with her husband, violinist and composer Mark O'Connor, together they have appeared as guest soloists with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Walla Walla Symphony, the Nashville Symphony with the O'Connor Band, and many other symphony orchestras performing his compositions ranging from his "Strings and Threads Suite" to his "Double Violin Concerto" and "Johnny Appleseed Suite". The couple has also performed violin duos around the world, including the Leopold Auer Music Academy Hungary as well as the Berlin Konzerthaus celebrating the centennial birthday of the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Maggie tours with the O'Connor Band, whose debut album "Coming Home" won a Grammy Award for "Best Bluegrass Album of the Year" in 2017 at the 59th Grammy Awards.
Along with the O'Connor Band, Maggie has also frequently performed in her husband’s ensembles ranging from "Hot Swing" and "American Classics" to "An Appalachian Christmas", a hit concert tour taking place each holiday season. Along with performing, Maggie continues to work as co-director with Mark at O'Connor Method String Camps featuring the lesson book series that is rising in popularity each year. Maggie also makes unique violin peg necklaces to raise funds for scholarships at these camps. She is also featured on her and her husband's album "Duo," in which David McGee of Deep Roots Magazine claims "As a technician and as an expressive player, she is formidable, has it all. What I find so special about her, apart from the sheer soulfulness abundant in the music she makes, is her uncanny sense of playing off of and with Mark, knowing when to assert herself and when to be empathetic and supportive."
Growing up in a musical family in the suburbs of Atlanta GA, Maggie started playing the violin at age 7 in a family band. Concurrently, she took classical violin lessons with Larisa Morgulis, a distinguished graduate of the Odessa Conservatory in Ukraine. Playing music with her family band is where Maggie began to develop an ear for arranging, recording, group playing, and improvisation; skills she has embraced throughout her musical life. In her early years, she was a member of numerous bluegrass and rock bands while also being a member and soloist with Atlanta's top three youth orchestras. After growing up playing American and classical music styles, Maggie continued her professional training at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where she studied with violinist Herbert Greenberg earning the Bachelor and the Master of Music degrees in violin performance. She was also a finalist in the Marbury Prize Competition for Undergraduate Violinists while finishing up her Bachelor's degree with distinction and had the honor of being accepted into the Five Year Advanced Degree Program along with being awarded the Career Development Grant while at Peabody. She was the recipient of full tuition scholarships while studying at the Aspen Music Festival and School for three years. Maggie currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and plays a beautifully handcrafted 1996 violin made by Lukas Wronski.