John O’Conor has been gathering wonderful reviews for his masterly playing for over fifty years. Having studied in his native Dublin, in Vienna with Dieter Weber and being tutored by the legendary Wilhelm Kempff his unanimous 1st Prize at the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna in 1973 opened the door to a career that has brought him all around the world.
He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, l’Orchestre National de France, the NHK Orchestra in Japan and the Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco, Dallas, Montreal and Detroit Symphonies in North America. He has given concerts in many of the world’s most famous halls including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre in London, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Dvorak Hall in Prague, the Seoul Arts Centre, and the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo. He enjoys collaborating in Lieder recitals and performing chamber music with many renowned quartets.
His recordings of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas led CD Review to say that he “by now should be recognised as the world’s premier Beethoven interpreter” and his recent recordings of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra and Andreas Delfs have also been greeted with acclaim. In the past two years he has released three new CDs on the Steinway label, one of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and two of Haydn Sonatas. He has also been featured on tonebase.com with videos on teaching and discussing Beethoven and Haydn Sonatas. In August 2020 he will record the complete Beethoven cello sonatas with the irish cellist Ailbhe McDonagh.
A Steinway Artist, he is Chair of the Piano Division at Shenandoah University in Virginia, Professor of Piano at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and Visiting Professor at Showa University in Japan. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor in Piano, TU Dublin Conservatoire of Music.
For his services to music he has been decorated “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Government, awarded the “Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst” by the Austrian Government, the “Order of the Rising Sun” by the Emperor of Japan, and has received many other awards.