Diane Nicholeris

Diane Nicholeris

Office: MUS 102
Phone: (408) 924-4668

Professor Diane Nicholeris is instructor of violin and viola at San José University. Born in Boston, Diane began violin lessons at the age of ten. She hoped to inspire her father—who once played violin—to take up the instrument again. One year after she began violin lessons, she broke her wrist and needed extensive surgery to repair it. Because of the range, motion, and use of the hand that violin playing required, practicing became a good form of physical therapy.

Professor Nicholeris studied with Joseph Silverstein at Boston University and Sylvia Rosenberg at The Eastman School of Music, where she ultimately received her Bachelor of Music Degree. Her studies at Tanglewood introduced her to Jahja Ling, former Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Ling suggested that she audition for a violin vacancy with the SFSO in 1984. Her audition was successful, and she has now devoted almost 20 years of service to the orchestra. Professor Nicholeris has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Music Academy of the West Orchestra in Santa Barbara. She also served as concertmaster for The Monterey County Symphony. In addition to her solo and symphonic experience, she enjoys performing chamber music concerts throughout the bay area.

Professor Nicholeris thinks of music as a means of developing the inner self. “It is an audible expression of the soul—the thing in you that makes you who you are.” It is her musical and personal intuition that has made her teaching as successful as her performing. In addition to teaching at the San José University School of Music and Dance, she coaches members of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has also taught master classes at the University of Michigan, the Colburn School of Music, and was also invited to coach the New World Symphony in Miami, FL. Professor Nicholeris enjoys the challenge of coaching students through their repertory, sharing her knowledge with them and, in the end, hearing them play. She encourages young musicians to keep their ears open and to be critical—to search constantly for new approaches to the music.

Interestingly, Professor Nicholeris is also a big fan of Drum Corps, having marched when she was younger. She has judged several competitions and hopes to do more in the future. She lives with her husband in Pacifica.