Hanae O'Neil began playing the violin at age 8 and took to it straightaway. While developing her abilities on the violin, Hanae participated in many local music festivals at Charterhouse, Godalming, Farnham and Woking. These provided valuable opportunities to develop her performing skills. She also joined Guildford Cathedral choir. Singing in regular services and performances (often with little time to prepare!) helped Hanae to develop not only her sight reading ability, but also the expression and emotion that she can use instrumentally.
Hanae progressed from leading the South West Surrey Youth Orchestra to the first violin section in the Surrey County Youth Orchestra (including a tour of France). She attended a European Youth Summer Music course after winning a bursary at the Godalming Festival and also joined the NCO Main orchestra (and NCO Encore) at that time.
At age 13, she gained a scholarship at Wells Cathedral School as a Music Specialist. Wells has helped Hanae to develop and broaden her musical skills (under Matthew Souter and Catherine Lord) and provided many performing opportunities. This included playing to audiences at lunchtimes and evenings, as a soloist, as a member of various chamber groups, the Symphony Orchestra and Wells Virtuosi (a String Chamber Orchestra). This experience has included two European concert tours of Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland, where she played moving pieces, such as Strauss’s Metamorphosen, Finzi’s Romance and Barber’s Adagio.
At age 15, Hanae began playing the viola, progressing quickly. She played with the National Youth Orchestra (under Sir Mark Elder, Ilan Volkov and John Wilson) on this instrument. She particularly enjoys chamber music, which has provided many opportunities to perform and make new friends, whilst playing many beautiful chamber music pieces. Recent works performed at the British Isles Music Festival include Haydn’s Sunrise Quartet, Beethoven’s Sextet in Eb, Mozart’s Flute Quartet in C and Frank Bridge’s songs for Mezzo-soprano, viola and piano. She has chosen to develop her passion and experience within these small ensembles.
Hanae is now about to embark on a new stage of her career at one of the Royal Music Colleges. She is excited about the opportunity to develop her musical skills on the Viola as she experiences equally dramatic life changes whilst becoming a fully independent and responsible person, an essential requirement for a successful, professional and creative career in music.