Violinist Mark O'Connor Fuses Styles In 'Appalachian Christmas'09:06
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Violinist and composer Mark O'Connor (courtesy: Jim McGuire)
Violinist and composer Mark O'Connor (courtesy: Jim McGuire)

Composer and violinist Mark O'Connor has long been known for music that fuses classical and folk traditions. He won a Grammy in 2001 for his CD, "Appalachian Journey," that he recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer.

In his new CD, "Appalachian Christmas," O'Connor records traditional carols and folk staples with a variety of artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Renee Fleming and Alison Krauss.

He also brings his love of American music to his method of teaching violin. O'Connor says that using a repertoire that includes bluegrass and jazz gives students a greater appreciation of American culture. He says American song structures are designed to be interpreted in a variety of ways, and he encourages students to mix styles, just as he does.

Guest:

  • Mark O'Connor, violinist and composer

This segment aired on December 7, 2011.

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