"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, giving his listeners a complex, sophisticated piece of early-21st-century classical music and then knocking them dead with the brown-dirt whine of a Texas fiddle." - The New York Times
Mark and Maggie O’Connor - "American Classics identifies the cornerstones of repertoire, style and wonderful diversity of A New American School of String Playing. Mining a huge body of repertoire that has made its impact on American music, the tunes I have selected and the arrangements I have created from them represent stylistic importance, pedagogical value and have timeless appeal. 400 years of music informed by string playing in the Americas establishes relevance for the 21st century music audience as well as the student of music through the O’Connor Method book series. It does so by returning the violin to its rightful place at the center of the very music it helped to create and promote.
American Classics offers a broad and interconnecting compendium of American music through the presentation of violin solos performed by me and violin duos performed by myself and Maggie O’Connor, my beautiful wife. Audiences as well as students of the violin will find themselves inspired by the songbook of America as they have never heard it before. Present-day Spirituals such as the anthem We Shall Overcome empower us with a significant portion of the American Music System."
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.