ROCK HILL — Summertime master piano classes have long been a tradition for Winthrop’s Department of Music, and this June Irish pianist John O’Conor will return to campus to join that tradition.
O’Conor, who will be in residence June 26-30 on campus to teach his second annual master piano class, will give a public recital on June 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Barnes Recital Hall. Available at the door, tickets will be $15 for adults, $10 for seniors/faculty/staff and $5 for students. Winthrop has sponsored a number of world-renowned pianists in master classes over many summers, including such acclaimed musicians as Edwin Hughes and Walter Hautzig.
As part of O’Conor’s residence, other evening events will be held during the week. On June 27, Matthew Manwarren, professor of piano at Winthrop, will give a recital. Fares Basmadji, a prize-winning student of O’Conor’s, will perform June 28. These concerts also will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Barnes Recital Hall. Admission to the June 27 and June 28 recitals is free.
O’Conor served previously as director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. While he has stepped down from his administrative post, he continues to serve on the faculty there. In addition, O’Conor has been appointed as distinguished artist-in-residence at the Shenandoah Conservatory. He is known worldwide as an expert interpreter of the Classic and early-Romantic repertoires.
Following initial studies in his native Dublin, O’Conor studied in Vienna, Austria, with Dieter Weber; won first prize at the 1973 Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna; and made a special study of Beethoven with renowned German pianist Wilhelm Kempff.
He has toured the world in recital and concerto appearances and makes regular visits to Europe, the U.S., Japan, Korea and China. As a distinguished teacher, he has given master classes at conservatories across the world. O’Conor also has served as adjudicator of many international piano competitions, including the Leeds, Tchaikovsky, International Beethoven, Warsaw, Busoni, Gina Bachauer and William Kapell, among others.
For more information about the master classes, contact Manwarren at 803/323-4639 or the Department of Music at 803/323-2255.