Julia Connor fell in love with the violin at an early age and after years of perfecting her air violin skills, her parents finally took the hint and signed her up for lessons. She has since developed an eclectic musical palette, performing everything from baroque music on period instruments to fiddle music from Ireland to new works by living composers. Julia is a founding member of the violin and piano duo Room to Spare, which writes and performs original music incorporating classical music, jazz, rock, and blues. The duo released their debut album in May, 2019. Julia is also a founding member of the Berwick Fiddle Consort, an early music ensemble which performs historical folk music from the British Isles on period instruments as it would have sounded in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Julia plays regularly in Boston with Emmanuel Music, Boston Baroque, Music at Marsh Chapel, and Grand Harmonie. Recent highlights include performances at (le) Poisson Rouge, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Oregon Bach Festival, and the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe. In January of 2019 she joined the faculty of the Intercambio de Musica (Classical Music exchange) at the world-renowned Panama Jazz Festival.
An advocate for new music and female composers, Julia has commissioned several pieces, including Dana Kaufman’s Scratch the Surface for solo violin, which she premiered at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall and went on to perform as part of the Hartford Women Composers Festival.
Julia also enjoys exploring and creating music that blurs the lines between classical, jazz, folk traditions, and free improvisation. She has collaborated on several recording projects with musicians at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, including the Music Alliance Project, a genre-defying ensemble which unified a string quartet and a jazz trio under the leadership of pianist and composer Chase Morrin. An avid Irish fiddler, she has also performed in County Clare, Ireland as part of the annual Feakle Festival, including a special performance on Clare FM Radio and workshops with prominent Clare fiddlers Martin Hayes and Sorcha Costello.
Julia has participated in summer festivals and masterclasses across the US and Europe. She has received full-tuition fellowships to attend the Berwick Academy (Oregon Bach Festival), the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Spoleto Festival USA (where she played in the American Premier of Vivaldi’s 1720 opera Il Farnace under the baton of conductor David Bates). She has appeared in masterclass with, among others, Rachel Podger, Tony Arnold, and Jeanne Lamon. In September of 2018 she was an artist-in-residence at PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon.
Julia holds a Master’s degree with honors from the New England Conservatory and is a graduate of the Oberlin College and Conservatory, where she earned degrees with high honors in violin performance and Hispanic studies.