Violinist Mark O’Connor’s “Americana Symphony”

Mark O’Connor’s latest CD features a recording of his Americana Symphony.

O’Connor was a contest winning prodigy on fiddle, mandolin and guitar. He was so accomplished at a young age, that one Nashville veteran said he was a good argument for reincarnation.

According to O’Connor, “The three poles or sources of my music are classical, folk and jazz. My two mentors were the great Texan and south western style fiddler Benny Thomasson and the French jazz violinist Stephan Grappelli. As to Classical, I’ have to say that I’m a Beethoven man.”

O’Connor has explored a variety of musics, playing with traditional groups and even the rock band, The Dixie Dregs. He observes “that to write American music, you have to be a player or perhaps a musicologist. A person has to be sensitive not only to the broad outlines of our music, but to the details of the styles that separate it in such rich ways.”

A recent experience led Mark to comment that in some ways his music has the same respect for traditions as Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture has for its surroundings. “There’s a wonderful desire for independent shape and structure, but also a respect for the landscape that a building is part of.”

Music Heard On This Episode

Mark O'Connor (b. 1961): Americana Symphony
Marin Alsop/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra — Americana Symphony (Omac, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Mark O'Connor (b. 1961): Americana Symphony
Marin Alsop/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra — Americana Symphony (Omac, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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