Diane Phoenix-Neal, viola, and Lori Piitz, piano

Thu, Feb 21 @ 8 pm


Diane Phoenix-Neal, viola, and Lori Piitz, piano

Thu, Feb 21 @ 8 pm


Violist Diane Phoenix-Neal performs nationally and internationally as a collaborative chamber musician and soloist, most recently in France, Poland and Brazil. Her sound is described as “rich and sumptuous” (Classical Voice of North Carolina) with “an admirable combination of precision and fire” (The New York Times).

In France, she served as principal solo violist of L’Orchestre de Picardie and as violist of Quatuor Joachim for nearly a decade. Her recent recitals and projects featuring contemporary music for viola have been presented at the Northwestern University New Music Conference, The 36th Annual JMU Contemporary Music Festival, and the Academy of Music in Kraków, Poland.

Originally from North Carolina, she is a long-standing performing faculty member at the Eastern Music Festival and is principal violist of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. Phoenix-Neal received her training from The Juilliard School, the UNC School of the Arts, and UNC Greensboro.

Lori Piitz has performed in prestigious venues on both sides of the Atlantic, including New York’s Lincoln Center and Steinway Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and the Augsburg Mozart Festival, both in Germany. Ms. Piitz has been heard on both the French and English networks of CBC Radio (Canada) as well as on the Südwestfunk (Southwest German Radio in Stuttgart). A winner in the Canadian Music Competitions (CMC), she was also a finalist in CVC television’s Virguoses en Herbe Competition.

Since joining the JMU faculty in 2002, Ms. Piitz has performed in a number of summer festivals, including the EMU Bach Festival, and both the Richmond and Staunton Music Festivals. Previous teaching engagements include the University of Ottawa, Eastern Mennonite University, and the Nürnberg/Augsburg Hochschule für Musik.

Ms. Piitz studied at the University of Ottawa and Indiana University. Her teachers include Jean-Paul Sevilla, Leonard Hokanson, and Menahem Pressler.


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