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Biography

Violist Richard Yongjae O'Neill is one of few violists ever to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a Grammy Award Nomination (Best Soloist with Orchestra). Concerto appearances include the London Philharmonic with Vladimir Jurowski, the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Miguel Harth Bedoya, the Seoul Philharmonic with François Xavier Roth, the KBS and Korean Symphony Orchestras, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Alte Musik Köln and Sejong. Highlights of his 2010/11 season include performances with the London Philharmonic with conductors Vassily Sinaisky and Yannick Nézet-Séguin in Royal Festival Hall at London's South Bank Centre, as well as on tour to Seoul Arts Center and the National Concert Hall of Madrid; his fifth season as Artistic Director of DITTO, his South Korean chamber music initiative featuring sold-out concerts at Seoul Arts Center, the Tokyo International Forum and Osaka Symphony Hall; and his sixth solo recording for Deutsche Grammophon with the Württembergisches Kammerorchester. Richard has made solo debuts at Carnegie's Weill and Zankel Halls, Avery Fisher Hall, The Kennedy Center, Herbst Theater, Wigmore Hall, Salle Cortot, and Seoul Arts Center.


A UNIVERSAL Classics Recording Artist, Richard has made five solo albums that have sold over 100,000 copies. His three most recent albums, Nore and Winter Journey for Deutsche Grammophon and Mysterioso for ARCHIV Produktion, have earned him Platinum Disc Awards. His second album, Lachrymae for UNIVERSAL Korea, was the best selling Classical as well as International Pop Recording of 2006.


Much in demand as a chamber musician, Richard is an Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and serves as Principal Violist of Camerata Pacifica since 2007. He was the sole violist of Chamber Music Society Two from 2004-06, and for six years served as principal violist and soloist of Sejong, a conductorless string orchestra. Richard has collaborated with many of the world's finest musicians including Emanuel Ax, Leon Fleisher, Garrick Ohlsson, Menahem Pressler, Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell, Elmar Oliviera, Jamie Laredo, Lynn Harrell, Steven Isserlis, the Emerson and Juilliard String Quartets, Ensemble Wien-Berlin, among many others.


A popular figure in South Korea, Richard was the subject of a two-part, five-hour documentary for the Korean Broadcasting System that was viewed by 15 million people, and has been featured on all of Korea's major television networks, radio, newspapers and magazines. His chamber music project, DITTO, has introduced over 40,000 people to chamber music and on its first international tour sold-out Tokyo's International Forum's Hall A (5000) as well as Osaka's Symphony Hall. A commercial model, Special Representative to UNICEF, and marathoner, he was recently appointed as cultural ambassador for the South Korea's Ministry of Culture of Tourism, a position he shares with Olympic Gold Medalist Yuna Kim. In the United States, he has appeared on PBS Live from Lincoln Center and CNN, and has served as Young Artist-in-Residence for National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.


The first violist to receive the Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School, Richard has studied with Paul Neubauer and Donald McInnes. Residing in New York City and Los Angeles, he was honored with a Proclamation from the New York City Council for his achievement and contribution to the Arts. A dedicated teacher as well as performer, Mr. O'Neill serves on the faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music at the University of California, Los Angeles.


“Ravishing”  — London Times


“An electric performance…a crackling, visceral, reading that held the audience in rapt attention” — New York Times


“First-rate” — New York Times


“Elegant, velvety tone" — New York Times


“A colorfully robust, expressive performance.” — New York Times


“An astounding performance” — New York Sun


“Richard O’Neill was the real find of the evening” — New York Sun


“Technically immaculate” — Los Angeles Times


“Fierce virtuosity” — San Francisco Chronicle


“A rock solid performance that showcased the obvious ardency and skill of Richard Yongjae O’Neill” — Denver Post


“There was a new face that should be noted right away: violist Richard O’Neill made a smashing debut…the young musician is already making his way in the highly competitive world of music…O’Neill took every advantage with his big, resonant sound, facile technique and secure musicality. Over the past 25 years, the Seattle Chamber Music Society has introduced any number of important musicians to Seattle. O’Neill is the latest” — Seattle Post Intelligencer

This biography was most recently edited by...
cameratapacifica - 22 Mar 2012
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