Brian O'Connor has been an active LA recording studio Horn player and soloist for over thirty years. He studied Horn and music with Paul Tafoya in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was born and raised, and concertized as a soloist with the Highland High Wind Ensemble, the Albuquerque Youth Symphony and the New Mexico All State Orchestra. He studied significantly with Robert Elworthy, Principal Horn of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra; Philip Farkas at Aspen, the Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony under Fritz Reiner; and James Stagliano, the venerable Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony for around 40 years and the Professor of Horn at the New England Conservatory, which OConnor attended on scholarship. Brian continued his studies at the California Institute of the Arts, and with internationally renowned solo studio Horn player Vincent DeRosa, and graduated in 1973. He continued to study for ten more years with Mr. DeRosa. OConnor has built a unique and vibrant system of Horn playing based on all of his studies and significant professional experience.
Brian was Principal Horn of the American Ballet Theater Orchestra in Los Angeles for eleven years and played Principal Horn for many Broadway shows in L.A. for over twenty years including Sweeney Todd (recorded for PBS) and the original west coast production of Phantom of the Opera. He has played Principal Horn with the L.A. Master Chorale, the Reno Opera, the Los Angeles Opera Repertory Theater Orchestra, the Harlem Ballet, the California Philharmonic, the New West Symphony and the Pasadena Pops. He also played solo Horn and recorded with the Thomas Talbert Big Band and Tommy Newsoms Jazztet. OConnor has been a member of the Pacific Serenades, South Bay and Greek Theater Chamber Music groups for some years, and has performed in many memorable concerts of famous and newly composed chamber music that include Horn. He recently performed the Brahms Horn Trio with Roger Wilkie and Delores Stevens, the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Steve Amerson and orchestra, and the Sonata for Horn and Piano by Bruce Broughton, with Mr. Broughton at the Piano.
Mr. OConnor has been involved in recording over 2,300 film scores (750 scores as Principal / Solo Horn) in over thirty years that he has participated as a first-call Los Angeles Studio Recording Musician. Aside from playing on such movies as "Titanic," "Finding Nemo," War of the Worlds, "Toy Story," "The Bourne Identity," Field of Dreams, Always, Transformers, Silverado, Rescuers Down Under, and "The Edge," and he has played Principal and Solo Horn on Miracle at St. Annas Evan Almighty, Crimson Tide, The Pacifier, Dreamer, The Notebook, Flicka, Bridge to Terabithia, The Good German, Inside Man, Bruce Almighty, Lion King, "Star Trek: First Contact," Star Trek: Generations, "Princess Diaries," Cinderella Man, "Cats and Dogs," "The Scorpion King," "Seabisquit," "All the Pretty Horses," "Austin Powers: The Spy That Shagged Me," A League of Their Own, The Rock, Polly, "Beverly Hills Ninja" and Down Periscope to name a few. He has been the Principal Horn on the TV shows "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Star Trek: Enterprise," The Young Riders, episodes of How the West Was Won and The Carol Burnett Show. Recently he performed for the EPCOT Center music for Canada and general themes for the park as well as many musical packages for Disneyland, Disneyworld and Disneyland Tokyo. He participated in the live performance of John Williams "ET" on the 25th Anniversary concert at the Shrine Auditorium, which was added to the re-release of "ET" on the 25th Anniversary DVD release. OConnor is one of the most recorded Horn players in the world and people in every country have heard his work including both Principal and Section performances in live TV and Awards shows including the Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Grammys and the Peoples Choice Awards in addition to his work for TV series, Record, Jingle and Video Game recordings.
OConnor has been Professor of Horn at UCLA for eleven years and, under his leadership, a strong national program has been built. The UCLA Horn Studio has grown to cover all aspects of professional Horn playing and currently has a significant reputation drawing many national applicants. In July 2008, OConnor performed as a featured soloist and clinician at the 40th International Horn Society Symposium in Denver, CO, in addition to presenting the UCLA Bruin Horn Club in concert, which he founded in 2001, in performances of works by Bruce Broughton, Justin Freer and Joseph Trapanese with superb review.