Mark & Maggie O’Connor: An Appalachian Spring

Consummate violinists add “double dose of fiddling” to Glacier Symphony concert

On Stage

Mark O’Connor, a three-time Grammy winner and seven-time CMA Musician of the Year, and his wife, Maggie, also an acclaimed violinist, bring a double-dose of fiddling to the Wachholz Center’s McClaren Hall in Kalispell  Saturday, April 20, at 7 p.m.

Mark and Maggie O'Connor grace the Wachholze Center stage in a concert with the Glacier Symphony.
Mark and Maggie O’Connor grace the Wachholz Center stage in a concert with the Glacier Symphony.Photo © David Hume Kennerly

O’Connor is a legendary multi-instrumentalist famous for his work on violin and acoustic guitar. He recounts his 50-year career in Crossing Bridges: My Journey from Child Prodigy to Fiddler Who Dared the World.

His wife, Maggie, is a talented violinist in her own right who earned a Grammy by playing bluegrass with the O’Connor Band, and has performed with such legendary artists as Paul Simon and Zac Brown, to name a few.

In Kalispell, she’ll play violin and sing lead while her husband adds harmonies and plays acoustic guitar, violin and mandolin. Together, they’ll deliver a mix of Americana, jazz, bluegrass and classical, including tunes from their new collection of songs, Life After Life.

The program will feature the O’Connors performing with the Glacier Symphony in Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and showcase Mark O’Connor’s original compositions, including the “Improvised Violin Concerto” and the “Double Violin Concerto.”

Mark and Maggie have been existing in an uninterrupted musical collaboration since the day they met in 2014. According to a press release, “they were perfecting the finer points of Mark’s American Classical violin duos, it got so good that they decided to get married.”

During the next stage of their musical journey, they each took home a Grammy Award for playing bluegrass in the O’Connor Band. Their new recording arises from the isolation imposed by the world-wide pandemic, when they dedicated their days and nights towards further musical growth together.

The couple workshopped new songs during 70 weekly online concerts from home: Mondays with Mark and Maggie. A group of dedicated viewers watched as they made their musical experiments, some fans tuning in for all of them.

What came out of this exploration is an Americana album project of mostly original vocal songs they sing together, other popular songs reimagined, and all of them supported by a small universe of acoustic instruments they’ve brushed up on in the time off the road.

“Together, they’re a brilliant and beautiful duo whose chemistry is undeniable,” writes Connect Savannah of the duo.

For more information, visit Glacier Symphony online or call 406.407.7000.