EMF alumna DIANE PHOENIX-NEAL has served on the faculty since 1998 and grew up in North Carolina. She performs regularly nationally and internationally as a collaborative chamber musician and as a soloist in addition to her roles as an educator and clinician. Her chamber music performances have taken her to concert stages worldwide, including France, Poland, Portugal, Brazil and Australia, and she has performed in the music festivals of Spoleto, Banff, and Evian (France). She received her training from the Juilliard School, where she studied in the class of William Lincer and with the Juilliard Quartet. Dr. Phoenix-Neal earned her doctorate from UNC Greensboro, and serves as the viola professorat James Madison University.While attending the Juilliard School, she formed a string quartet, served as principal violist of the Juilliard Orchestra, and performed with the New York Philharmonic.
In France, she served as principal viola with l’Orchestre de Picardie (France) and as violist of the Joachim Quartet for nearly a decade. Currently principal violist of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra, Phoenix-Neal performs regularly with several chamber music groups in Iowa and in Virginia. An enthusiast of new music for viola, she has the good fortune of collaboration with composers in regular commission projects. Recent recitals, solo concerts and clinics include appearances with the Central College Community Orchestra, Shenandoah Bach Festival Orchestra, at Augustana College, the University of Northern Iowa, Anderson University, the American Library of Nancy (France), and the Academy of Music in Kraków.