Violist Richard O’Neill is an Emmy Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient.
Praised by the London Times as “ravishing” the New York Times for his “elegant, velvety tone” the Los Angeles Times as “energetic and sassy…exceptional” and Seattle Times as “sublime” VIOLIST RICHARD YONGJAE O’NEILL has distinguished himself as one of the great instrumentalists of his generation. An Emmy Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, he has achieved recognition and critical acclaim not only as a champion of his instrument but as a social and musical ambassador as well. He has appeared as soloist with the London, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Euro-Asian Philharmonics; the BBC, KBS, and Korean Symphonies; the Moscow, Vienna, and Württemburg Chamber Orchestras; and Alte Musik Köln with conductors Andrew Davis, Miguel Harth Bedoya, Vladimir Jurowski, Yoel Levi, Eiji Oue, Vassily Sinaisky, Leonard Slatkin and Yannick Nezet-Seguin.
An Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as well as Principal Violist of Camerata Pacifica he frequently collaborates with the world’s greatest musicians including Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Leon Fleisher, Warren Jones, Garrick Ohlsson, Menahem Pressler, Daniil Trifonov, James Ehnes, Steven Isserlis, Edgar Meyer and The Emerson Quartet, among many others. Festival appearances include Marlboro, Aspen, Bridgehampton, Casals, Chamber Music Northwest, Dresden, Great Mountains, La Folle Journée, La Jolla, Mecklenburg, Menlo, Mostly Mozart, Prussia Cove, Saint Barthélemy, Saratoga, Seattle and Tongyeong.
A UNIVERSAL/DG recording artist, he has made nine solo albums that have sold more than 200,000 copies and has remained for over a decade one of the best selling South Korean recording artists with multiple platinum disc awards. Dedicated to the music of our time, Lera Auerbach, Elliott Carter, John Harbison, Huang Ruo, and Paul Chihara have written works for him. As artistic director of DITTO for twelve seasons (his South Korean chamber music festival and project) he introduced tens of thousands to chamber music in South Korea and Japan: on its first international tour DITTO sold out Tokyo’s International Forum and Osaka Symphony Hall.
The first violist to receive the Artist Diploma from Juilliard, he holds a Bachelors of Music from The USC Thornton School of Music magna cum laude and a Masters from The Juilliard School. In 2007 he was honored with a Proclamation from the New York City Council for his achievement and contribution to the arts. He serves as Goodwill Ambassador for the Korean Red Cross, The Special Olympics, and UNICEF, runs marathons for charity and serves on the faculty of The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.