O’Conor, John, Irish pianist; b. Dublin, Jan. 18, 1947. He was only 3 when he began lessons with his sister; after studies with Sheila Rumbold (1953–57), he attended the Dublin Coll. of Music (1957–68); also pursued his general education at Belvedere Coll., Dublin (graduated, 1965) and studied music at Univ. Coll., Dublin (B.Mus., 1969). His postgraduate studies followed with Dieter Weber at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik (1971–75); also attended master classes given by C. Zecchi at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1967–68), Agosti at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena (1972), and Kempff in Positano, Italy (1974,1980). He took first prize in both the Beethoven (1973) and Bösendorfer (1975) competitions in Vienna. On Nov. 12, 1968, he made his formal debut in Dublin. He first played in London at the Wigmore Hall in Feb. 1974. In May 1976 he made his Tokyo debut at the Bunka Kaikan Hall. On Jan. 10, 1983, he made his first appearance in N.Y. at Alice Tully Hall. In 1985 he was awarded an honorary D.Mus. degree from the National Univ. of Ireland and in 1994 he was made a fellow of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. O’Conor is a particularly sensitive and refined interpreter of the Austro-German masters. He has also championed the music of his neglected countryman, John Field.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire