Ella O’Neill is in demand across the UK as a pianist for song, chamber music and opera. In April 2019, she won the Help Musicians UK Accompanist’s Prize in Memory of Arthur and Gwyneth Harrison in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall. She recently returned there for the final of the Wigmore Hall/Bollinger International Song Competition with tenor Laurence Kilsby, who was awarded first prize. Even more recently, the duo made it to the final of the prestigious Das Lied Competition in Heidelberg, Germany, where Laurence was again awarded first prize. They return to Heidelberger Frühling in June to give a recital in the Lied Festival. Last year, the duo spent a week in New York participating in the Carnegie SongStudio, where they made their debut in two out of Carnegie Hall’s three performance spaces- the Zankel and Weill Recital Halls.
Other performance venues and festivals for Ella have included Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Royal Opera House Crush Room, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sage Gateshead, Cedars Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival, Buxton International Festival, Lewes Song Festival, Leeds Town Hall for Leeds Lieder and Brighton Dome for Brighton Festival with Roderick Williams and guests. Ella reunited with Roderick in July 2022 to perform Schubert’s Winterreise, in an English translation by Jeremy Sams,
at Opera Holland Park for their Opera in Song recital series. Ella has also performed live on BBC Radio 3 InTune with both Roderick Williams and Mark Padmore.
Ella is a Samling artist and now works regularly as a staff pianist with Samling Institute for Young Artists. Last year she also joined Oxenfoord as a staff pianist for the first time, where she is pleased to be returning in 2023. As a répétiteur, Ella has worked for companies including Grange Park Opera, English Touring Opera, Mid Wales Opera, Tête à Tête Festival, Operasonic and Barefoot Opera. She also enjoys a long-standing professional relationship with voice teacher Rosa Mannion, for whom she plays for singing lessons at the Royal College of Music and privately. This has enabled Ella to develop a thorough understanding of vocal technique and how best to support singers as a coach.
Ella is currently the Lord and Lady Lurgan Collaborative Piano Fellow at the Royal College of Music, her alma mater. She graduated with distinction from the RCM in July 2019, where she studied postgraduate piano accompaniment with Simon Lepper, Kathron Sturrock and Roger Vignoles. During her time there she won the Alasdair Graham Pianist Prize in the RCM Lieder Competition and second prize in the Brooks van der Pump English Song Competition. Prior to that she studied undergraduate piano with Mei Yi Foo at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she won the Bryan Davies Memorial Piano Accompaniment Prize.
Photography on this page ©Rowena Mayo