Ella O’Neill is increasingly in demand across the UK as a song and chamber music pianist. This April, she performed in the finals of the 64th Kathleen Ferrier Award at Wigmore Hall with bass-baritone Adam Maxey, where she was awarded the Help Musicians UK Accompanist’s Prize in memory of Arthur and Gwyneth Harrison. She returned to the venue this September to perform in the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition with tenor Laurence Kilsby, and then in November for the finals of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards with mezzo-soprano Rebecca Leggett. Other recent venues include the Royal Opera House Crush Room, Cadogan Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields and the Dora Stoutzker Hall, Cardiff, where she performed Brahm’s Liebeslieder Walzer as part of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World’s fringe series. In a review of her recital with Chanae Curtis at St Martin-in-the-Fields, music blog The Cross-Eyed Pianist described her as ‘a masterful accompanist, and [who] has a tremendous future. She navigated the twists and turns of mood in the Beethoven with aplomb, and her handling of the Griffes and the Strauss lieder was delicate and assured’. As of this November, Ella is also proud to be a Samling Artist.
Away from the concert platform, Ella also works as a répétiteur for opera. This season, she joined Grange Park Opera as their répétiteur for Verdi’s Don Carlo. Other companies she has worked with include Welsh National Opera, Mid Wales Opera, Operasonic, Barefoot Opera and the Tête à Tête Festival.
Ella graduated with distinction from the Royal College of Music this July, 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. She also won the Bryan Davies Memorial Piano Accompaniment Prize at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she completed her undergraduate degree with first class honours in 2017.
Photography on this page ©Rowena Mayo