Professor John O’Conor’s early studies began in Dublin. He was awarded an Austrian Government scholarship that enabled him to study in Vienna with the respected pedagogue Dieter Weber. He also made a special study of Beethoven with the renowned German pianist Wilhelm Kempff. In 1973 Mr. O’Conor was unanimously awarded First Prize in the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and in 1975 won the Bosendorfer Competition. He has performed in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand..
As Professor of Piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music he gives masterclasses and lectures at many of the venues where he performs as well as in many of the major music institutions including Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York, Harvard, Yale and Indiana Universities, University of Washington, the Hamamatsu Piano Academy in Japan and the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music in London. Gives annual summer courses in Holland and Israel. Member of the juries of many of the world’s most prestigious international piano competitions. For his services to music has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the National University of Ireland and an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He has been decorated with the title of “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Government, has been awarded the “Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst” by the Austrian Government and has also been decorated by the Italian and Polish governments.