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O’Connor, Mark (5th August 1961-Present)

He is a fiddler, guitarist, mandolin player, arranger, composer and teacher born in Seattle, Washington.

Beginning to play guitar when he was 6 years old he moved to the fiddle when he was 11 and his teenage years saw him entering and winning many competitions and becoming a sideman for Stephane Grappelli, which saw him performing at Carnegie Hall among other acclaimed venues.

In 1983 he relocated to Nashville and after a couple of years of making his name known he performed on the recording “High Horse” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  This set him on his way and has led to him working as a much sought after session musician and also releasing many solo albums such as Soppin’ the Gravy, Heroes, On the Rampage, Thirty Year Retrospective and Midnight on the Water and winning two Grammy Awards for his New Nashville Cats and Appalachian Journey where he collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Mayer.

He now has his own record label, OMAC.  His compositions have also much recognition and include his “Appalachia Waltz”, “Song of the Liberty Bell”, “Call of the Mockingbird”, “Olympic Reel” and “Butterfly’s Day Out”, a symphony, string quartets, trios, choral and solo works, concertos, with his most popular being his “Fiddle Concerto No. 1”, and also music for TV and film soundtracks such as The Night Before Christmas, Johnny Appleseed and Liberty! The American Revolution.

Working with many artists throughout his career he has been heard performing and/or recording with Alabama, Chet Atkins, Clint Black, Jimmy Buffett, Glen Campbell, Kim Carnes, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Carlene Carter, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Neil Diamond, Steve Earle, Bela Fleck, Renee Fleming, Art Garfunkel, Gloriae des Cantores, Vern Gosdin, Amy Grant, Emmylou Harris, John Hartford, Bruce Hornsby, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Mark Knopfler, Alison Krauss, London Philharmonic, Lyle Lovett, Wynton Marsalis, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson, Olivia Newton John, The Oak Ridge Boys, Marie Osmond, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Rogers, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, David Schnaufer, Earl Scruggs, Dan Seals, Ricky Skaggs, George Strait, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, James Taylor, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt, Ricky Van Shelton, Tanya Tucker, Hank Williams Jr. and Tammy Wynette.

Every year he plays host to the Strings Conference in San Diego, California, and the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp in Tennessee.  In the world of musical education he is often seen taking masterclasses and holding symposiums at venues such as the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School of Music and Tanglewood and also promotes outreach musical education with Midori and Friends, Music for Life Alliance, Opus 118 and Sphinx.  In recognition for his contribution to music the Country Music Association named him Musician of the Year every year from 1991 to 1996.