Celebrating 62 Years of Inspired Music Making!

June 24 – July 29, 2023

Diane Phoenix-Neal

DIANE PHOENIX-NEAL (viola) is Assistant Professor of Viola at James Madison University since 2016, principal violist of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival since 2003 and performs regularly as assistant principal violist with the Roanoke Symphony. Her sound is described as “rich and sumptuous,” and she enjoys a vibrant teaching and performing career. She performs nationally and internationally as a collaborative chamber musician and as a soloist, and her performances have taken her to music festivals throughout the world to four continents, including performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with New York String Orchestra Seminar, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the festivals of Evian and Spoleto. In France, she served as both the principal solo violist of Orchestre de Picardie and as violist of Quatuor Joachim.


Originally from North Carolina, Phoenix-Neal received her training from the Juilliard School as a student of William Lincer and the Juilliard Quartet, from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, as a student of Sally Peck, and received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro after a ten-year career as a performer and teacher in Europe. An active member of the American Viola Society, she is passionate about teaching, and enjoys exploring a broad kaleidoscope of viola repertoire to perform and introduce to her students. 


A champion of new music for viola and of music by underrepresented composers, her recent recitals and commissioning projects have been presented at James Madison University’s Contemporary Music Festivals, the Northwestern University New Music Conference, the University of Wyoming, International Viola Congresses in Australia and Poland, and at the 50th Anniversary American Viola Festival.  An EMF alumna, Phoenix-Neal has served on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival since 1998.