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The Millikin University School of Music will host a masterclass with American violin virtuoso Mark O’Connor on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. in the Kirkland Fine Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Referred to as “one of the most talented and imaginative artists working in music—any music—today” by the Los Angeles Times, Mark O’Connor blends America’s rich aural folk traditions with classical music. A student of fiddler Benny Thomasson and jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli, O’Connor has melded and shaped his influences into a new American classical music and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing.

With more than 200 performances, his first full length orchestral score, “Fiddle Concerto,” has become the most performed modern violin concerto composed in the last 40 years. It was recorded for Warner Bros. Records in 1995. Mark O'Connor's second concerto, “Fanfare for the Volunteer,” was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Steven Mercurio, released by Sony Classical Records in October 1999.

The Newark Star-Ledger notes, “As a composer, he understands the power of a thematic transfiguration and development throughout a 40-minute work.” Mark O’Connor will be performing his “Fiddle Concerto” with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kirkland Fine Arts Center.

For more information on Mark O’Connor, visit www.markoconnor.com.

The masterclass will feature performances by students from the Millikin University School of Music, including an ensemble coaching session with Millikin’s Big Bluegrass Band.

For more information, visit www.millikin.edu/music or call 217.424.6302.

This program is partially sponsored by a grant from the Decatur Area Arts Council and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and a Pi Kappa Lambda matching funds grant.
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL