Violist Morgan O’Shaughnessey is an active, diverse, high-energy young musician. A curious performer of many passions and pursuits, his current 20-year musical background and training includes classical viola, Celtic and Quebecois fiddle, Renaissance viol, Chinese Arhu, traditional Scottish bagpipes, bluegrass banjo, bassoon, Brazilian Choros, American Jazz, electronica, computer music, pops-industry composition/arranging, Alexander Technique, and stringed instrument repair. He maintains a strong collaboration with Venetian pianist Jakub Tchorzewski: to date the duo has presented three solo recitals at Teatro la Fenice on special scholarship from the Cini Foundation to promote contemporary Italian works, recorded the complete chamber works for strings by Gino Gornini (released on Tactus) as well as a recital album of Shoshtakovich and Beethoven, toured the Pacific Northwest twice, and presented a recital at Palazzo Quirinale in Rome for the President of the Italian Republic that was broadcast live on RAI Radio 3. Morgan has also appeared in articles in Rolling Stone and The New York Times praising his eclectic bagpipe/fiddle/nyckelharpa performance installation collaborations with visual artist Mike Shine of “Dr. Flotsam’s Carny Bastards” at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival.
Morgan holds a BM from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. During his studies with Professor Jodi Levitz he completed nearly all advanced placement coursework available, received a viola department award for excellence in 2009, was invited to give the undergraduate commencement speech, and was a constant feature in many student collaborations. Previously, he had attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan where he graduated with honors in 2007. Morgan currently studies with Leszek Brodowsky in Zakopane, Poland.
Morgan performs regularly with the Delgani String Quartet, the O’Shaughnessey/Tchorzewski Duo, the Rogue Valley Symphony, the RVSO Chamber Players, Jefferson Baroque Orchestra, Opera Parallele, and several Celtic bands. He gives regular individual and group coaching sessions to middle and high school orchestras, which are made possible by a generous school music grants. A fiddle player by night, he frequently enjoys jam sessions with fine local musicians at O’Brien’s on Wilshire in Santa Monica and the Celtic Arts Center in North Hollywood. In addition, he is the resident session string artist at RadioStar Records and is the office manager, salesman, and minor repairs technician at the Bellwood Violin Shop.
Morgan performs on a viola by Vincenzo Cavani di Spilamberto, 1938 (an acquisition made possible through generous funding from sponsors, friends, and family), a violin bow and a viola bow by Portland bowmaker Darrel Hanks, and a 7-string electronic viola by John Jordan. Morgan commissioned the instrument from Jordan after borrowing an electronic violin for a performance of John Adam’s concerto, “The Dharma at Big Sur.” He also owns a nyckelharpa by Bo Karlsson, highland pipes by McCallum, and uilleann pipes by Kirk Lynch.
Morgan has participated in the MasterWorks, Interlochen, Valley of the Moon, and Zephyr summer festivals. He has performed with Jorja Fleezanis, Frederica von Stade, and Alasdair Frasier. He has also performed in master-classes for Bobby Mann, Kronos Quartet, Chen Yi, and the Turtle Island String Quartet. His major teachers have been Karen Davy, David Holland, Jodi Levitz, and Leszek Brodowski.