Staff Report


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

Their program, entitled “The Viola – Warmth, Resonance and Strength,” will include J. S. Bach’s mighty 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. We are honored to welcome the brilliant viola virtuoso Richard O’Neill to the series in collaboration with our Artistic Director Robert Cassidy,” said series coordinator Linda Burrows. “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.”

Praised by the London Times as “ravishing,” the New York Times for his “elegant, velvety tone,” the Los Angeles Times as “energetic and sassy … exceptional” and the Seattle Times as “sublime,” O’Neill has distinguished himself as one of the great instrumentalists of his generation. 

He has appeared as 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. 

He won an Emmy Award for the 2013 documentary “Hello?! Orchestra,” focused on his leading a multicultural youth orchestra. 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. His recent recordings of the Debussy Preludes have been praised worldwide for their sensitive and insightful interpretations. 

Cassidy has performed nationally and internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, and he collaborates regularly with musicians from Central and Southern California. 

He continues an active teaching career and is currently director of piano chamber music for Santa Barbara Strings. In autumn 2018, he became the artistic director of the Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series.

Doors open for the concert at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door as well as in advance at . General admission tickets are $20 and student tickets are $10 (with any student ID). A complimentary reception with the artists will follow the concert. 

For any questions, call Burrows at 805-688-7423 or the St. Mark’s office at 805-688-4454 or visit or