This week, Mark O'Connor completed a journey that began almost 20 years ago by recording his first symphony, Americana Symphony: Variations on Appalachia Waltz. "Today was one of the best days for my music," said O'Connor. "To say that today was not a dream come true for me would be a lie." With legendary producer Steve Epstein at the boards, Grammy-winner Richard King engineering, and the music itself masterfully played by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop conducting, Mark O'Connor's first symphony has been recorded." Americana Symphony: Variations on Appalachia Waltz is scheduled to be released in March 10, 2009 by OMAC Records.
Mark O'Connor began exploring a uniquely American symphonic vocabulary in 1990 with a series of concertos for violin and orchestra. This led to 1993's "Appalachia Waltz," a composition by O'Connor, released as a collaboration between O'Connor, Yo Yo Ma, and Edgar Meyer. It became an immediate hit, and began a clamoring among the classical community for O'Connor's vision to be expressed in a full symphony. Now, after a decade of consideration and two years of concentrated work, the piece has finally been recorded for CD release. Says O'Connor, "Any composition is not quite finished until it is recorded, and it was great to put the wrap on this musical journey for me. It was thrilling putting it on tape. It sounded like it did when it was still dancing around my head."
The music of Americana Symphony is in six movements, for large symphony orchestra. O'Connor used the theme of his own Appalachia Waltz to construct all 6 movements in variation forms. Commissioned by 15 American orchestras, it premiered at a modern music festival in the summer of 2007. The recording is due out March 10th, 2009.
About Mark O'Connor:
Mark O'Connor is a composer and violinist whose fluency with both classical and American traditions has made him one of the most acclaimed figures in contemporary music. A true natural talent, Mark O'Connor began performing and touring at only 12 years old. O'Connor is the artist in residence at UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music, and is on tour throughout the fall and winter. OMAC is O'Connor's own label, distributed through Allegro and IODA.