The Charlotte Symphony's first Artist-In-Residence is Grammy Award-winning violinist, composer, and educator Mark O'Connor.

O'Connor is credited with composing the first full-length orchestral concerto featuring American fiddling, The Fiddle Concerto, a product of his cross-genre artistic style. The Charlotte Symphony featured a performance of the piece in the 1990s. He also established An American School of String Playing with his O'Connor Method, which teaches orchestra and solo repertoire of American classics with emphasis on creativity, improvisation, and cultural diversity.
A product of American folk tradition and classical music, O'Connor credits his musical journey in large part to folk fiddler Benny Thomasson and French jazz violinist and improviser Stephane Grappelli. It was at the intersection of these two musical styles that O'Connor began crafting his own musical approach.
The residency is effective through the 2017-2018 season and includes annual performances across three of the Charlotte Symphony's core series Classical, altsounds, and Pops as well as an artistic partnership with Music Director Christopher Warren-Green.
O'Connor relocated to Charlotte from New York City in 2016 to be closer to family. He also tours with family members Maggie O'Connor, fiddle; Forrest O'Connor, mandolin and vocals; and Kate Lee, fiddle and vocals, as the O'Connor Band. The band received a Grammy nomination in fall 2016 for Best Bluegrass Album.
O'Connor and his wife Maggie also will be involved in the Symphony's education initiatives, including master classes, workshops, and pre- or post-concert talks.