In Tuesday’s (1/7) Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, California), Diane Paterson profiles Mark O’Connor, who “has continued to straddle different musical genres and professions as a classical, bluegrass, jazz and country violinist, as well as an award-winning composer and music teacher. This weekend, the daring musical explorer will join the Santa Rosa Symphony for the first time, performing his popular ‘Fiddle Concerto’ along with his Grammy-winning 1986 suite, ‘Strings and Threads,’ originally composed for guitarist Sharon Isbin. He will perform the two-violin version with his wife, violinist Maggie O’Connor.… The three-concert Santa Rosa Symphony set, led by Guest Conductor Michael Christie, underscores the Americana theme of O’Connor’s works, offering up Aaron Copland’s Suite from ‘Billy the Kid’ as the curtain-opener and Copland’s endearing ‘El salon Mexico,’ inspired by the percussion of the Latin dance pulse, as the closer. While O’Connor was influenced by Copland’s orchestrations, his starting point for composing was always the fiddle tunes and the fiddle language he first picked up as a young boy in Seattle, learning the musical ropes from American fiddler Benny Thomasson.”

Posted January 8, 2015