My dad plays fiddle and is a huge fan of fiddle music. So my brother Stephen got tickets for a concert last Thursday at UCLA.
Thanks to a large grant from Herb Alpert (of The Tijuana Brass), UCLA majorly re-structured their music program and department for the recent school year. Mark O'Connor, a world-renowned fiddle player, was this year's Artist in Residence. He gave a phenomenal concert.
The concert primarily included Mr. O'Connor's own compositions, including a brass fanfare at the beginning and string combo, solo fiddle, and chamber string orchestra pieces. Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring was also performed, along with a duet playing "Satin Doll" with an incredible jazz guitarist whose name escapes me currently.
The music was excellent and varied and the musicians were incredibly talented. If a chance arises to see Mark O'Connor, I highly recommend making the effort to go. For string players, Mr. O'Connor holds a String Institute (formerly known as fiddle camp) every summer. This summer's Institute is being held at UCLA but is probably sold out.