Breaking News
More () »

Denver's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Denver, Colorado | 9NEWS.com

CU Boulder artist-in-residence nominated for Grammy

If he wins, he would be only the second violinist to recieve a Grammy in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category.

BOULDER, Colo. — An artist-in-residence at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

Richard O'Neill is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category for his performance in "Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra." 

"Like yeah, who doesn't want to win something like that prestigious and valuable," O'Neill said.

O'Neill said he has been playing the viola for most of his life.

"I started the viola when I was 15, I started the violin when I was 5," he said. "I have been playing an instrument almost my whole life."

Along with working at CU, O'Neill is part of the Boulder-based performance group, the Takacs Quartet.

He said mentoring musicians is his calling.

"Be a good example, lead, help nurture the younger generation," said O'Neill.

This is his third Grammy nomination and O'Neill said it came as a surprise. 

"The viola is rare because it's not thought of often as a solo instrument, it's a real honor," said O'Neill.

If he wins, it will be his first Grammy and the second time a violist has won the category.

Beyond the accolades, O'Neill said he finds true joy is in the strings. 

"At the end of the day as long as I can pick up this instrument and I can make music for people that's what makes me truly feel fulfilled," said O'Neill.

RELATED: Grammy's name Arvada West High School teacher finalist for music educator award

RELATED: Trevor Noah to host 2021 Grammy Awards

 SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Feature stories