Violist Diane Phoenix-Neal performs nationally and internationally as a collaborative chamber musician and as a soloist. She also enjoys her roles as a clinician and educator nationwide. Her performances have taken her to concert venues and festivals throughout the world, most recently to France and Poland. In France, she served as both the principal solo violist of l'Orchestre de Picardie and as violist of Quatuor Joachim, finalists at Banff International String Quartet competition. 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). She is a longstanding performing faculty member (and alumna) of Eastern Music Festival, a premiere summer festival in North Carolina, and currently holds the position of principal violist with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. A champion of new music for viola, her recent recitals and projects featuring contemporary music for viola 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 in Poland, and the Music by Women Festival at Mississippi University for Women. She received her training from the Juilliard School as a student of William Lincer and of the Juilliard Quartet, from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A recently released CD, When the Spirit Sings, features her performances of the chamber music of Gwyneth Walker. Dr. Phoenix-Neal holds the position of Assistant Professor of Viola at James Madison University.