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Jason O’Connell

Jason O’Connell headshot



Courses Taught

Advanced Studio Technology


MM, McGill University

BM, University of Victoria


What is your hometown?

Bellingham, WA

What is your favorite recording?

Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G Major, Lorin Maazel, Kathleen Battle, Wiener Philharmoniker

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Biking and trail running!

Who were your major teachers?

Wieslaw Woszczyk, Martha de Francisco, and George Massenburg.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

“The secret of survival is to embrace change and to adapt.”
—Rohinton Mistry

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

“How do you properly roll a microphone cable?”

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

While studying in high school, I was asked to join our local university chamber orchestra to perform a late Beethoven string quartet (Op. 131). I remember being very excited (and scared!) to rehearse this challenging piece of music with such great musicians. After the many rehearsals and final performances, I knew I would find a way to work in music.

What was a turning point in your career?

Immediately after I had finished my undergraduate degree in viola performance, I broke the ring finger in my left hand on a hiking trip. While recovering from hand surgery, I focused on learning as much as possible about sound recording. I read books, interviewed teachers, recorded my friends, and eventually went on to study sound recording for my masters degree. I've never looked back!

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

Riding my bike around the world.

What recordings can we hear you on?

Enescu: Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1 & 2, Naxos
Ring of Fire: Del Sol String Quartet, Other Minds
Rachmaninov: 24 Préludes pour piano, XXI

What is your unrealized project?

I would like to develop a self-recording app that would help students practice more efficiently.


Recording for the Conservatory. He holds a B.M. in viola performance from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and an M.M. in sound recording from McGill University, Quebec. He has recorded for Naxos, BIS, Polytone and EMI record labels as well as working for the Aspen, Tanglewood and Banff Centre music festivals. Mr. O'Connell regularly freelances as a producer and engineer in San Francisco and works as a producer/engineer for the San Francisco Symphony. His projects have received numerous honors from the Audio Engineering Society and his work is frequently heard on KDFC and WFMT radio programs.