By Robin Clutters

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– It’s music’s biggest event! The Grammy Awards air on CBS4 Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. Among the nominees is CU Boulder violist. Richard O’Neill joined CU Boulder’s internationally renowned Takács Quartet earlier this year. He has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category for his performance of Christopher Theofanidis’ Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra.

“It’s an incredible honor, especially considering how difficult this year has been on everyone and almost all musicians. We haven’t played in a live concert for nine months now, so [the nomination] is really wonderful.”

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This is the third time O’Neill has been nominated for a Grammy, and he’s even attended the event in the past.

Richard O’Neill (credit: CBS)

“I walked the red carpet and it was really fun,” says O’Neill. “Seeing these artists that you’ve dreamed about seeing your whole life right in front of you, it was pretty amazing. I didn’t win that time or the next time, but it was just so fun to go.”

Before coming to Boulder, O’Neill played viola for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City. He says he loves being able to now call Colorado home.

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“Relocating to Boulder has been so wonderful, Boulder is heaven. You can just walk out your door and go on a hike literally within minutes. The community has been so accepting and friendly to me.”

He has some sound advice for young musicians who hope to one day also be nominated for a Grammy: he says make sure it truly is your passion and be willing to put in the work.

(credit: Takács Quartet)

“Bringing people joy and using your talents to bring beauty, comfort, and music to people; I think you couldn’t ask for a better life.”

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The Grammys air live Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021 at 6 p.m. on CBS4.

Robin Clutters