Aaron Copland School of Music Faculty

   Tara O'Connor (Adjunct Professor)

Fields of Study:
Flute Performance

Degrees and Studies:
D.M.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook

Biographical Information:
Flutist Tara Helen O'Connor is a charismatic performer known for her unusual artistic depth, brilliant technique and colorful tone in music of every era, as well as for her masterful readings of her huge repertoire of new works. In March 2001 she was awarded a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. This prestigious award has only been given to a small handful of wind soloists in its 25 year history. The New York Times praised her " marvelous performance of Debussy's solo flute piece Syrinx". The Boston Globe said "Tara Helen O'Connor negotiated the dizzying scale passages, multiplicity of attacks, and dramatic demands [of Thea Musgrave's Orfeo for flute and orchestra] with panache, but also showed herself a committed ensemble partner."

Ms. O'Connor is a founding member of the 1995 Naumburg Award winning New Millennium Ensemble which has released two CD's of American music; the first entitled "Here Comes Everybody" on the CRI label and most recently, a CD of Morton Feldman's music on the Koch label. She is also the flute soloist of the world renowned Bach Aria Group, following in the footsteps of Samuel Baron and Julius Baker. Ms O'Connor was the first wind player to be chosen to participate in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's "Chamber Music Society Two" program for emerging artists. She continues to perform regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orpheus, Barge Music, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest and Music from Angel Fire. She has performed often at the International Musicians' Chamber Music Seminar in Cornwall, England, and Incontri in Terra di Siena in Italy and has collaborated with the Orion, Borromeo, and St. Lawrence String Quartets. In the summer of 1999 she made her concerto debut at the Mostly Mozart festival and a recent solo performance with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra featured Ms. O'Connor as a concerto soloist as well as a conductor.

Ms. O'Connor has recorded for Arcadia, CRI, Koch International, and Bridge Records. Her recordings of the complete Etudes for Solo Flutes by Isang Yun was presented to the composer in honor of his 75th birthday. The summer of 2001 takes her on a European and American tour which includes pianist Peter Serkin, violinist Ida Kavafian, clarinetist David Shifrin, cellist Fred Sherry and Mezzo Soprano Mary Nessinger, performing works of Schoenberg. She received a Doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she studied with Samuel Baron, Robert Dick, Keith Underwood, and Julius Levine. Ms. O'Connor plays a gold Brannen-Cooper flute fitted with a Lafin head joint. She is professor of flute at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music. An avid photographer, she has photo credits in Time Out, Strad, and Chamber Music America magazines.

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