John O’Conor to receive NCH Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017

John O’Conor

John O’Conor to receive NCH Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017

Irish pianist, who celebrates 70th birthday this year, will perform at gala concert in November.

The National Concert Hall has announced that pianist John O’Conor will be awarded the National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017 at a special gala concert on Sunday 26 November 2017.

O’Conor, who celebrates his 70th birthday this year, will perform at the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award gala concert alongside special guests.

For over forty years O’Conor has been regarded as one of Ireland’s leading pianists. A former pupil of Dieter Weber and Wilhelm Kempff, O’Conor won 1st Prize at the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna in 1973. He went on to establish a successful career as both a performer and recording artist for over 40 years and is renowned as a leading exponent on Beethoven’s music. 

His recordings of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas led CD Review to write that he ‘by now should be recognised as the world’s premier Beethoven interpreter’. Irish audiences also had the opportunity to hear him perform the complete Beethoven sonatas at the National Concert Hall in 2004/2005.

For his services to music, O’Conor received the Officer de l’Orde des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government, he was awarded the Ehrenkreuz fur Wissenschaft und Kunst by the Austrian Government, the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese Government, and has received many other awards.

He has held numerous eminent teaching positions and continues to teach and give masterclasses around the world. O’Conor is professor and chair of piano at Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia; a faculty member at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto; and visiting professor at Showa University in Japan and the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.

The NCH Lifetime Achievement Award recognises leading Irish musicians who have made a significant contribution to music in Ireland and abroad. Previous recipients include the Vanbrugh Quartet (2016), Paul Brady (2015), Dr Veronica Dunne (2014), Sir James Galway (2013), and Paddy Moloney and the Chieftains who received the inaugural award in 2012.

Tickets for the gala concert go on sale on 30 January. Visit

Published on 20 January 2017

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