"If Dvorak had spent his American leisure time in Nashville instead of Spillville, Iowa, his New World Symphony might have sounded like this."
The New York Times
“Mark is so facile with his instrument and so completely on top of it. He's really one in a million. We won't see a lot more like him in this generation.”
– James Taylor
“Mark O'Connor has been astounding listeners with his genius since he was 13. I believe he and Itzhak Perlman are two of the greatest musicians on the planet today.
He's one of the few people I pay to go see.”
– Chet Atkins
“I have been listening to your discs...they're fantastic and inspiring. (As are you!) I can't wait to hear your additional string quartets.”
– Jennifer Higdon, composer
“I'm listening to Amazing Grace again for the first time in a while – and your playing is positively orchestral… so gorgeous – the audience at that point will want me to shut up so they can listen to you….we'll do the long version, where you play an entire verse first – and perhaps more….”
– Renee Fleming (comments in preparing their duet of Amazing Grace for a Carnegie Hall concert)
“"A fiddler who fuses folk and classical...Mark O'Connor, also a composer, goes places Copland did not."”
– David Patrick Stearns – The Philadelphia Inquirer 11/16/08
Remark about Mark O'Connor's composition Appalachia Waltz at the White House Conference on Culture and Diplomacy
"one of the most important pieces of American music in many, many years, uniting the strains of classical music with American hill country music, which is an important part of my heritage"
– President William Jefferson
Mark O'Connor's "Americana Symphony"
"a monumental work...inevitably will be compared to Copland"
“"So he's very aware of what's going on. He can talk and follow a conversation. And yet the fingers are moving, figuring out different permutations and patterns. Usually, you have to go through a certain translation. It's, OK, I want this, therefore I must do that.' Right? So there's something that's in- between. But with Mark, there's so little impedance between what comes out and what he's actually thinking. That's one of the qualities that floors people. It's his pure thinking. It just comes out."”
– Yo-Yo Ma (Reported by the Baltimore Sun)
February 2002 On Mark O'Connor's first masterclass at Juilliard School, making his the
first non traditional masterclass on a string instrument in Juilliard's history.
"It was an inspiring class."
– Stephen Clapp, Dean of Juilliard School
Gershwin once told Maurice Ravel that his dream was to become a second Ravel....to which Ravel replied that he should instead become the first Gershwin....which he did.....and you are already the first Mark O'Connor!”
– Jean-Luc Ponty
…Nobody in the history of jazz fiddle has ever played with the technical assurance of O'Connor, and he has been a brilliant, and soulful improviser since he was a teenager…with O'Connor's fire and heart-on-the-sleeve emotional involvement rendering this not only one of the finest discs of his career, but one of the greatest jazz violin albums ever. Grappelli, who died four years go, would have blushed with pride.
-David Royko, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
It was an honor and pleasure for us to play with you and experience the power and depth of your musical vision. I have the deepest respect for you and what you are trying to achieve on behalf of American Music. You are a national treasure.
"Americana Symphony" may well be regarded one day as one of this country's great gifts to the classical music canon, as well as being a pivotal moment in the rise of the new American classical music"
-David McGee (Spin, Rolling Stone, Barnesandnoble.com, BluegrassSpecial.com)
Mark's arrangements are probably some of the most widely copied in all of string music.”
– John Hartford
On The O'Connor Violin Method
"O'Connor's new approach is "an American-grown rival to the Suzuki method."
-The New Yorker
“Spectacular. I am so grateful for those who stand up and do it right.”
– Twyla Tharp
“"Love your Americana Symphony and your Concerto #6 CD- it's dynamite!" ”
– -Pulitzer Prize Winning Composer, Joseph Schwantner
On the inaugural Mark O'Connor String Camp in New York City
"I have become more inspired and in-touch with the music around me like never before. It really touches me to hear you talk about this camp because I know that you really started it for us. You, sir, have achieved this week more than you may know."
[About American Seasons for violin and orchestra]
"O'Connor the composer has now created a work destined to rank among the greatest masterpieces of American music."
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Mark O'Connor-he's not what you would call...human.”
– Stephane Grappelli
"Concise, lyrical and irresistibly rhythmic. (O'Connor) used his fabulous instrumental mastery of articulation and intonation to create character,
setting, story, and emotion."
The Boston Globe
On the O'Connor Method Teacher Training Course
We're at the tipping point! Hooray for the American School!