Mark and Maggie O’Connor

Mark and Maggie have reached a rare milestone!  New Album “Life After Life” reaches Billboard’s Top 10 on 2 charts – Bluegrass at #2 and Classical Crossover at #7.  Congrats to them!

“One of the most talented and imaginative artists working in music — any music — today.” – The Los Angeles Times

“The audience was on its feet…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.” – The New York Times

Representation and Touring Formats

Representation: Exclusive PAC representation in North America
Touring Formats:  Duo

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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 59, 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-performedviolin 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. The MarkO’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. The band released a live album called A Musical Legacy. Mr. O’Connor’s new solo guitar album Markology II is a 42-year sequel to the first one released when he was 16. Bela Fleck writes the album notes for the new CD. He says:

“…a bit stunned at the shear technical bravado his guitar playing is capable of (including that bit of jealousy that I’ve always had at how well this guy’s hands work!). Great tone he pulls from his guitars…puts us mortal musicians into a state of awe.”

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 tours nationally as the Mark O’Connor Duo with his wife Maggie, with his perennial An Appalachian Christmas and performs his original concertos with symphony orchestras. He resides in North Carolina with his wife, and duo partner Maggie O’Connor. For more information, please see www.markoconnor.com and www.oconnormethod.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 was a member of 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 Mark O’Connor Duo, Maggie has also frequently performed in her husband’s ensembles ranging from Hot Swing and An Appalachian Christmas, a hit concert tour taking place each holiday season.

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.

Three-time Grammy winning composer and fiddler Mark O’Connor has created several arrangements of Christmas classics and fashions a wondrous mixture of both instrumental and vocal music in bluegrass and other American music genres. Concertgoers are treated to fresh takes on traditional songs with a few original compositions included. His renditions are playful and joyous, but can be strikingly earnest too. Mark O’Connor’s touring ensemble includes his wife Maggie O’Connor on fiddle and vocals as well as a variety of guest musicians on each tour.

Having toured An Appalachian Christmas nine consecutive years, O’Connor and his ensemble have a dynamic energy on stage that bring their individual expertise to holiday themes and classics in the most delightful and musically satisfying way!

“…the reason we were all there was Mark O’Connor, in all his lyrical perfection. There is no more aching line in contemporary American music than the melody in his Appalachia Waltz, and the joy of his mandolin duet with his son in Macedonia, a song Mark wrote years ago, was pure delight. O’Connor is a composer and arranger of the highest order, creating intriguing harmonies and rhythms in recognizable folk music.

He elevates a music with humble beginnings to impeccable elegance, creating a whole different category. While the instrumentation is traditional in country music, his deft treatment of the songs and choice of performers brings out unexpected elements. He’s more than a performer; he’s a suitor to the music, to the instruments, a passionate devotee of traditional forms and tools, and his adoration is evident in every note he writes and every chord he plays.

Mark O’Connor has brought his Appalachian Christmas to Portland for the last six years, and I hope he comes again next year, so everyone can hear his remarkable music.”  by Meg Currell EDGE Media Network Contributor

The Improvised Violin Concerto (Five Movements: Fire – Air – Water – Earth – Faith)

“For audiences and aspiring young musicians, hearing a completely improvised concerto is a unique and inspiring opportunity. It is a wonderful concept brilliantly executed by the gifted Mark O’Connor.”  -Marin Alsop (Conductor, Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra)

“It’s utterly groundbreaking…a concerto like this is totally unplayable by the vast majority of conservatory grads.”  –Paul Haas (Conductor/Composer, Music Director of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, founder/Artistic Director of Sympho)

“Mark O’Connor’s  ‘The Improvised Violin Concerto’ is a innovative way to approach the musical interaction between soloist and orchestra. It also requires a new set of skills that will encourage young virtuosos to develop high level improvisational skills.  The string world welcomes this addition to the repertoire that supports one of our national standards for music education, improvisation.” -Bob Phillips – President, American String Teachers Association

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Americana Symphony

“‘Americana Symphony’ may well be regarded one day as one of this country’s great gifts to the classical music canon, as well as being a pivotal moment in the rise of the new American classical music.” – David McGee (Spin, Rolling Stone)

“a monumental work…inevitably will be compared to Copland.” – Associated Press

“as unrepentantly tonal, accessibly melodic and sonically spacious as a great Elmer Bernstein film score.” – Los Angeles Times

“Mark O’Connor provides his answer to a question that has intrigued U. S. composers since the debut of Dvorak’s New World Symphony in 1892: ‘How do you write the great American Symphony?'” – David Wallace, Berklee College of Music, Juilliard School

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With Large Symphony Orchestra

The Improvised Violin Concerto (40-min) Five Movements: Fire – Air – Water – Earth – Faith

Double Violin Concerto (35-min) Three Movements 1. Swing – II. Midnight On The Dance Room Floor – III. Dixieland  (Mark and Maggie soloists)

The Fiddle Concerto (35-min) Three Movements

Double Concerto for Violin and Cello (For The Heroes) (35-min) Three Movements

Three Pieces for Violin and Orchestra 

I. Call of the Mockingbird (20-min)                                                 
II. Trail of Tears (16-min)                                                                  
III. Fanfare for the Volunteer (20-min)

Johnny Appleseed Suite (18-min) Four Movements

I. Marching Along The Ohio Frontier                                               
II. Johnny’s Apple Pie                                                                         
III. Three Angel Brides                                                                        
IV. The Life and Times of Johnny Appleseed  

Concerto No. 6 “Old Brass” (35-min) Three Movements I. The Road is Smooth – II. Spanish Moss, Black Water – III. Fugue in Six Parts: “Grace and Charm”

 

With String Orchestra

American Seasons (40-min) Four Movements

I. Spring                                                                                                      
II. Summer                                                                                               
III. Fall                                                                                                      
IV. Winter 

Strings and Threads Suite (17-min) Thirteen Movements (Mark and Maggie soloists)

Surrender The Sword (10-min) Single Movement

Song of the Liberty Bell (7-min) Single Movement

Amazing Grace (3-min) Single Movement

 

Orchestra Pieces Without Soloist

Americana Symphony (Variations on Appalachia Waltz) (40-min) Six Movements (without soloist)

I. Brass Fanfare: Wide Open Spaces                                                                                                                                                                                               
II. New World Fanciful Dance                                                                                                                                                                                                     
III. Different Paths Towards Home                                                                                                                                                                                           
IV. Open Plains Hoedown                                                                                                                                                                                                             
V. Soaring Eagle, Setting Sun                                                                                                                                                                                                       
VI. Theme: Splendid Horizons 

The Triple Concerto “March of the Gypsy Fiddler” (25-min) for piano/violin/cello, Three Movements

Elevations (For String Orchestra) (25-min) I. Vistas – II. Elevations (without soloist)

Queen Anne’s Revenge (7-min) Overture For Symphony Orchestra

Olympic Harvest (5-min) Overture For Symphony Orchestra

The Fallen Concerto for Flute and Chamber Orchestra (20-min) Three Movements

O’Connor Method Orchestra Book II (various American classics for performance with student orchestras only)

 

Featuring Grammy-winning American music stars, Mark O’Connor Duo with Maggie O’Connor.  A joyous celebration of some of the very finest classical music performed by string quartet ensembles in-residence and, American classical music, bluegrass and fiddling by one of the best to ever play and compose the music!

Program:

Beethoven String Quartet No 11 (Op. 95)
O’Connor String Quartet No 2 (Bluegrass)
INTERMISSION
Selections by Mark O’Connor Duo
Finale: “Appalachia Waltz” (full cast)

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Thank you to Mark and Maggie O’Connor for sharing your incredible talent with our audience! Your chemistry and partnership is undeniable. Bravo to our soloists, musicians in the orchestra and Maestro Zoltek for a great performance! Last night was such a special and unique concert! Thank you for sharing your talents in performance and composition with our community.
Glacier Symphony loved performing with you. Our audience was blown away by your talent – we can still hear the roaring cheers in the hall!
 
Glacier Symphony, McClaren Hall/Wachholz Center
 

“It was a wonderful concert! The smoothest and purest music I’ve heard in a long time. I’ve followed Mark from way back to the Strength in Numbers era. That album is still a standard to measure against for any acoustic music I listen to. But now with Maggie making Mark a duo, she is the perfect complement to Mark and can match him bow stroke for bow stroke. And what a beautiful voice! We thoroughly enjoyed the concert tonight. I hope to hear you all again sometime.” – Randy Sedgwick, The Villages, FL

“One of the most spectacular journeys in recent American music.”
– The New York Times

“One of the most talented and imaginative artists working in music — any music — today.”
– The Los Angeles Times

“Brilliantly original.
” – The Seattle Times

“The audience was on its feet . . . 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.” – The New York Times

What viewers of Mark and Maggie’s PBS Special are saying:

“I really enjoyed the PBS program last night. You guys are an incredible duet. Guitar, violin, fiddle, spoons, voices-just amazing.” -Jim Parker

“This is a fabulous concert. Their precision on twin fiddles is impressive. At about 20 minutes in, Mark plays an incredible tune that gives the listener imagery of hummingbirds winging from flower to flower.” – KWCW 90.5 FM

“A superb performance! It’s great to see you musically nurturing one another and the diversity with the vocals and song selection!” -Ron Kerber

“Caught your wonderful show at the Steeple. You both are so in Sync with each other. Simply Beautiful!!” -Richard Ahrens

“Fantastic! You guys sound AMAZING! Congrats to you and Maggie.” -Gregg Field

“Looks and sounds great. A very professional looking production.” – Joe Greenberg

Date

Venue/Lineup

Location

7/15/2024 - 7/18/2024Northwest BachFest
Spokane, WA
8/14/2024 - 8/17/2024University of Texas at El Paso Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall
Mark and Maggie O'Connor
El Paso, TX
10/10/2024Swallow Hill Music Hall
Mark and Maggie O'Connor
Denver, CO
10/24/2024 - 10/26/2024Abilene Convention Center
Abilene, TX
10/31/2024 - 11/01/2024Bach Ascending
Quartet from the Savannah Philharmonic, led by Sinisa Ciric.
Savannah, GA
11/08/2024Beacon Theatre
Mark and Maggie O'Connor
Hopewell, VA
11/29/2024Highlands Performing Arts Center
Highlands, NC
12/03/2024Cal Poly Humboldt
Mark O'Connor's An Appalachian Christmas
Arcata, CA
12/13/2024University of Washington-Meany Hall
Mark O'Connor's An Appalachian Christmas
Seattle, WA
12/15/2024Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
Mark O'Connor's An Appalachian Christmas featuring Maggie O'Connor
Fernandina Island, FL
12/18/2024The Sheldon Concert Hall
St. Louis, MO
1/10/2025 - 1/12/2025R.J. Reynolds Auditorium
Winston-Salem, NC