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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 10:16 am | A Few Clouds 57º


Musicians Richard O’Neill, Robert Cassidy Close Out Santa Ynez Valley Concert Season

Robert Cassidy Click to view larger
Robert Cassidy
Richard O’Neill Click to view larger
Richard O’Neill

The 39th season of the Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church concludes with a concert featuring internationally acclaimed violist Richard O’Neill and celebrated pianist Robert Cassidy, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at 2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos.

Their program, The Viola —Warmth, Resonance and Strength, will include J. S. Bach’s "Sonata in G minor for Viola da Gamba, BWV 1029;" Franz Schubert’s lyrical “Arpeggione” Sonata in A minor, D821; and Rachmaninoff’s "Sonata in G minor, Op. 19."

Concerts at St. Mark’s are non-religious, non-sectarian community arts programs.
“The opportunity to experience great artists of passion and integrity perform masterworks by distinguished composers enriches one’s emotional and intellectual life," said Linda Burrows, the series coordinator.

"We are honored to welcome the brilliant viola virtuoso Richard O’Neill to the series in collaboration with our artistic director Robert Cassidy," she said.

"Recognized worldwide as one of the best classical musicians of his generation, Mr. O’Neill elucidates the power and beauty of classical music and confirms its continuing relevance to humanity,” she said.
Praised by the London Times as “ravishing,” and The New York Times for his “elegant, velvety tone,” O’Neill has distinguished himself as one of the great instrumentalists of his generation.

He has appeared as a soloist with the London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Euro-Asian philharmonics, as well as with renowned chamber orchestras including the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra.

O’Neill won an Emmy Award for the 2013 documentary Hello?! Orchestra, focused on his leading a multicultural youth orchestra. He has recorded 10 solo albums and numerous chamber music recordings; been nominated twice for a Grammy award; and has received the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

He has remained one of the best selling South Korean recording artists for over a decade with multiple platinum disc awards. O’Neill is the founder and artistic director of DITTO, a chamber music project and festival in South Korea.

He also partners with MBC and OXFAM on humanitarian projects and serves as goodwill ambassador for the Korean Red Cross, the Special Olympics and UNICEF.

Cassidy has received widespread critical acclaim for his performances and recordings of both solo piano repertoire and chamber music. A native of Philadelphia, he received his bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music; and doctor of arts in piano chamber music and accompanying/piano performance from Ball State University.

His recent recordings of the Debussy Preludes have been lauded for their sensitive and insightful interpretations. Cassidy has performed nationally and internationally as a soloist and chamber musician.

He collaborates regularly with musicians from Central and Southern California, most recently performing a Beethoven Cycle of Complete Sonatas and Variations with cellist Ani Aznavoorian. Cassidy continues his teaching career and is currently director of piano chamber music for Santa Barbara Strings.

In autumn 2018, Cassidy was named the artistic director of the Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series.

Doors for the concert open 30 minutes prior to the start with tickets being sold at the entrance as well as online in advance at www.SMITV.org. General admission tickets are $20; student tickets are $10 (with any student ID).

A complimentary reception with the artists will follow the concert. Direct questions to Burrows, 805-688-7423 or the St. Mark’s office, 805-688-4454, or visit www.SMITV.org or www.SMITV.org/syv-concert-series.html.

For more about St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, visit www.SMITV.org.

— Laura Kath for St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church.


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