He is the second person to receive the award for a viola performance in the history of the category
The Korean-American violist Richard O’Neill, who joined Hungary’s Takács Quartet last year, has won a Grammy Award in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category for his performance of Christopher Theofanidis’s Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra.
O’Neill, who has been nominated twice previously, is the second person to receive the award for a viola performance in the history of the category.
Prior to joining the Takács Quartet, who are based at the University of Colorado-Boulder, O’Neill played viola for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City and performed as a soloist with orchestras including the London, Los Angeles and Seoul philharmonics. O’Neill was an Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and the first violist to earn an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School.
In his virtual acceptance speech, O’Neill said: ‘This is a great day for the viola. Thank you to the recording academy for this honour of a lifetime. To composer Christopher Theofanidis, conductor David Alan Miller, producer Silas Brown and the wonderful Albany Symphony. My love to you all. During this most challenging time for all musicians, my eternal thanks goes to my family, the Tacus Quartet and CU Boulder for keeping me alive. Stay safe and healthy everyone.’