Venue: Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
Organizations: Mark O'Connor
Date: Friday, October 23, 2020
Time: 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Event Types: Music, Speaking Engagements
General Admission: $10.00
Virginia Tech Students with ID: Free

The Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech continues their online HomeStage Series with the event titled "The Treasures of Fiddlers" featuring Mark and Maggie O'Connor on Friday, October 23, 2020.

Iconic, Grammy-winning American fiddler Mark O'Connor garners standing ovations at the Grand Ole Opry with shows unlike any other, blending crackling Americana with striking sophistication.

Inspired by the American Songbook, Mark and championship-fiddler wife, Maggie, deliver a treasure trove of duo music - spirited hoedowns, jigs, and soulful ballads - then share Mark's rare instruments and stories, to boot! Bring your fiddle questions to this rich connection to Appalachian musical lore.

A product of America's rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, Mark O'Connor's creative journey began at the feet of a pair of musical giants. The first was the folk fiddler and innovator who created the modern era of American fiddling, Benny Thomasson; the second, French jazz violinist, considered one of the great improvisers in the history of the violin, Stephane Grappelli. Working with classical violin icons Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Yehudi Menhuin and Pinchas Zukerman, he absorbed knowledge and influence from the multitude of musical styles and genres he studied and participated in. With his body of work including 45 feature albums, Mark O’Connor has melded and shaped these influences into a new American Classical music and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing.

Mr. O'Connor's 2016 release with the O'Connor Band received a Grammy nomination for "Best Bluegrass Album" after spending nearly half of the year at the top of Billboard's bluegrass album chart. Forming the band with his wife Maggie, son Forrest, future daughter-in-law Kate, No Depression Magazine describes the album: "There are some albums that are so sonically gorgeous, they sound as if the music has arrived from another plane; the players are so connected to each other, weaving their own parts so tightly together, the sound encloses you in its warmth and beauty...Very few bands can achieve this sense of playing-as-one so completely, so effortlessly that the entire force of the music – the vocals and every instrument – settles into us physically and emotionally as we listen. But 'Coming Home', the debut album by the O’Connor Band is one of those albums."

At age 13, he was the youngest person ever to win the Grand Master Fiddler Championships competing against all ages, amateur and professional. Forty years later, his record still stands. Mr. O’Connor is still the only person to ever win national titles (open to all ages) on fiddle, bluegrass guitar and mandolin. Mr. O’Connor won a record breaking six Country Music Association Musician Of The Year Awards in a row in Nashville.

At age 17, Mr. O'Connor played guitar as a member of one of the 70s greatest acoustic string bands, the David Grisman Quintet. At 19, he played violin and guitar alongside Steve Morse as a member of rock-fusion instrumental band, The Dregs. In his twenties he was a member of one of the greatest acoustic bands with four of the greatest players on their respective instruments, Strength in Numbers (with Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas and Edgar Meyer). He also assembled two of the greatest Country bands of all time, The American Music Shop house band and New Nashville Cats. Mr. O'Connor became the most in demand session musician of any instrument for a 3-year period, appearing on more top ten hits in the country, recording over 500 albums, and recording with everyone - Dolly Parton, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Randy Travis, The Judds, the list is too long to print.


Presented in partnership with the Crooked Road

The cost is $10.00 for general admission and free for Virginia Tech students.

To purchase tickets online, visit:

Students can sign-up for their free tickets at:

A recording will remain available to ticket holders for seven days following the live event.

Fall Access Passes are also available for the complete HomeStage Series starting at $60.00.

The HomeStage Series is a special series of events featuring notable artists live from their homes and studios. Not another livestream or pre-recorded performance that’s widely available to everyone, this series is exclusive to the Moss Arts Center and designed specifically to be presented online. Get up close and personal with the artists during performances and conversations and learn more about them and their work through moderated discussions and questions and answers from the audience—all from the comfort of your own home. Grab your favorite snack, kick back, and settle in. You’re guaranteed to have a front row seat.

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