Chris O'Neal



Chris O'Neal is acknowledged as one of Britain's most accomplished oboists. Born 22 March 1953 into a large musical family, Christopher was immersed in music from a very early age. He started the oboe at the age of ten, and it was not long before he joined in his parents' frequent chamber music evenings with friends. His first teacher was Raina East who instilled a forthright approach to music making. He later went on to take lessons with Terence MacDonagh for the two year period prior to attending the Royal College of Music. He subsequently won scholarships to study with two of the century's greatest oboists, Terence MacDonagh and the legendary Heinz Holliger. While at the RCM, Christopher gave performances of concertos by Martinu, Richard Rodney Bennett, Mozart, Bach and David Sutton (the world premiere of his Royal Philharmonic Award-winning concerto). He took further instruction with Edwin Roxburgh who fired a keen interest in contemporary music. 

 He is currently Principal Oboist with the Orchestra of St. John's Smith Square and co-principal with the London Mozart Players, as well as appearing frequently as guest principal with the major symphony orchestras in London. Christopher O'Neal dedicates much of his time to chamber music and is a founder member of Capricorn and more recently the highly acclaimed Fibonacci Sequence, as well as the award winning Elysian Wind Quintet. He has performed as soloist in many countries throughout Europe and the USA, has broadcast world-wide and made many solo and chamber recordings. He is keen to encourage young musicians, and takes a leading role in instrumental and chamber music coaching at the Universities of York and Kingston. He is a keen traveller, skier, cook and bridge-player.